Warrant – Dog Eat Dog Revisited
When this album came out on August 25th, 1992 on Columbia Records, the world was most likely expecting “Cherry Pie” 2.0. I do not think the fans were expecting the album that Warrant was about to drop. Peaking at #25 on the billboard 200, it was also the last album to feature all of Warrant‘s original members.
After hits like “Heaven”, “Down Boys”, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, and of course the mega-hit “Cherry Pie”, song titles like “Andy Warhol was Right”, and “Sad Theresa” had people talking for sure. I, like so many, had the bubble-gum sounds of “Cherry Pie” deeply ingrained into our brains since it hit the airwaves. Still to this day 28 years later, its the most recognized Warrant track in their catalogue.
So I sit 28 years later giving this a spin again. It’s like listening to a new album. I can honestly say that I think I might have been wrong.
The opener of “Machine Gun” caught me by surprise. One of Warrant‘s heaviest track to this point, and an absolute killer of a song. The first single from Dog Eat Dog, a real strong song that has a recurring theme that appears throughout the album of sex and voyeurism with a touch of homicidal tendencies and drug addiction as well. The lyrics of “Candy Apple Red Lips” recalls to mind Jani Lane‘s first wife and Warrant video vixen, Bobbie Brown.
“Hole In My Wall” has a voyeuristic theme to it and has that classic Warrant sound. Probably the most Warrant sounding track on the album that most listeners would be used too and came out as the third single from Dog Eat Dog.
The following two songs are a bit stranger. “April 2013″ and “Andy Warhol Was Right” was a real shot out of the blue. “April 2031″ is a track that is probably a real testament to the writing of Jani Lane. This track speaks of a world of darkness, and desolation after what is interpreted as a nuclear holocaust incident of “glowing sand that swallowed all the oceans and choked off all the land. In a world beyond resuscitation, Even by God’s hand”
Another shocker was “Andy Warhol Was Right”. Beginning with a small child’s innermost thoughts and how one can grow up with those thoughts and how they can turn into psychopathic ideas. Deep, dark, and a cry for help, and yet another brilliantly written song. Great music as well, with acoustic, and orchestral parts, Jani goes from heartfelt to screaming. Kind of like the voices in the subject’s head.
Hard and Soft
“Bonfire” is another that classic Warrant fans will enjoy for sure. Killer guitar riff to start off and thunderous drums only to be joined by some gang vocals before Jani comes in and lays his powerful voice into the mix. Truly another track about sex. A true reminder that this is a rock album!
One of the ballads of Dog Eat Dog is next. “The Bitter Pill” is the opposite of “Bonfire”. This one is about lost love. The vocal mix here is haunting in the way its mixed. You can hear Jani as if he is standing right next to you, as the music comes from another area of the room. However, this is not the only ballad on Dog Eat Dog. You also have songs like “Quicksand” and “Let it Rain”. Songs like “Sad Theresa” and the punk-infused “Inside Out” are two of the lower parts on the album. Empty and boring are two words that come to mind while listening to these ones in particular, at least compared to other tracks on this offering.
After the band had been labelled as “The Cherry Pie Band” it was time for Warrant to take a much-desired step in another direction. Much like Skid Row did with Slave to the Grind, this was a Warrant album that split the fans right up the midsection. We got a lot of great material from the guys, and producer Michael Wagner had a hand in the new sound that Jani and the boys were wanting for this album. One thing is for sure about Dog Eat Dog is this…. Jani was a master in songwriting, and the songs penned for Dog eat Dog show the range in which he could write. The boys are more then a one-trick pony as far as music styling, revisiting this album after writing it off back in the day was more than worth the time, and I’d suggest that if you wrote it off back then, go revisit it as I have done.
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Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall
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- Machine Gun
- The Hole in My Wall
- April 2031
- Andy Warhol Was Right
- The Bitter Pill
- Hollywood (So Far, So Good)
- All My Bridges Are Burning
- Let It Rain
- Inside Out
- Sad Theresa
- Jani Lane – vocals
- Joey Allen – guitar
- Erik Turner – guitarJerry Dixon – bass
- Steven Sweet – drums
- Scott Warren – keyboards