Thursday, January 09, 2014

Iron Dogs: Free and Wild (2013)

Reinvigorating the Steel

Review by joanismylover, the third metal attorney.

Motörhead in their heyday were literally† a metal factory, a monstrous steel mill metal record releasing machine. In March 1979, the band released Overkill, a veritable five star classic and seminal release for metalheads everywhere, each track ripping the listener from limb to limb. In October 1979, Motörhead released Bomber, a standout release in its catalog featuring such classics as “Dead Men Tell No Tales” and “Stone Dead Forever”. At the end of 1979, they released No Parole, re-recording different versions of previously released of songs. They followed that in 1980 with another five star classic which some (not me) would argue was their best release, and many (including me) would call a must have record. They had something good so they lived free and wild, releasing records and touring. FMA’s* favorite album cover fun band, Iron Dogs, have released Free and Wild, their second in 2013 hot on the heels of their debut Cold Bitch from 2012.

And why not? When you are having fun, why stop. This is not, thankfully, serious stuff, nor is it played with technical precision. The singer is pretty awful (It’s probably hard to sing if you are hung over) and the music sounds out of tune (Who has time to tune a guitar when a riff or lead materializes?). After a forgettable opener, Free and Wild storms through the metal subject matter menagerie with not hints but direct messages of irony. If you aren’t doing Wayne’s World air guitar stylings in the middle of “Kingdom of Steel” and “Cannibal Death Cult”, maybe you are not alive. If, after several listens you are not singing “Live Freeeeeeeeeee, Live Freeeeeeeee, Live Free and Wild!” - “Wild! Wild” at your nightly pub sessions, maybe you do not enjoy heavy metal music.** Don’t get the references to an early 80s supernatural horror film in “Evil in The Keep”? Well, try Netflix streaming and bone up to enhance your listening pleasure. Surely you recognize the brief but undoubtedly deliberate Metallica reference at the beginning of “Storm Warning?”*** What, there’s no more creamy metal goodness after “Island of the Dead”? Who makes 8 song thirty minute albums anymore?

Born in the 70s, and culturally impressed in the 80s, this author did not really launch his music "career" until college in the 90s. Bands weren’t releasing records then. They were releasing CDs – many of which were overly long and with tons of filler and doing it only every two years or so. Even the best bands – Clutch – fell victim to the new format. With the advent of digital downloads, return to vinyl, and corresponding proliferation of smaller music publishers, there’s an opportunity for returning to the metal days of rapid fire steel record releases. Released a shit hot album? Great, do an Iron Dogs and do it again, right now. All hail Iron Dogs for reinvigorating a new kingdom of steel.

4 out of 5 stars.

[In the auto-antonym sense, or not? --FMA]
* A totally unauthorized proclamation regarding the site, not the man, based on this author’s own opinions.
** If you do not have nightly pub sessions, you are, like me, married with children.
*** I did, and don’t call me Shirley.


  1. I probably need an editor. Dammit.

  2. You definitely need an editor, Shirley. Nice review nonetheless. And totally correct on the Motorhead annus mirabilis!

  3. Man, you should have seen it before I edited. I'm one of those people who got asked to edit other people's papers in school all the time, and I had to learn to exercise a lot of restraint. It's tough to edit with restraint. I need to take a little more editorial license, perhaps.

  4. Nah you're too busy to edit and I should know better. Live free and wild - no editing, only snarky footnotes and parantheticals!