My Dog Ate Chad define teenage garage-prog with the release of their debut full length album Krakatoa. Committing to hard drive the youthful excitement of saying yes to every idea, the record is a pastiche of hammering classic rock, 90’s jam band vibes, concert piano stride, beach pop choruses and perhaps most importantly, flecks of humour.
The inside “bastard” jokes that pepper opening track “Spurs” remind us that these kids (much of the band are still in their teens) grew up on Tenacious D, but we’re also reminded that they’ve done a lot in their career already and that their self-awareness isn’t only tongue-in-cheek. They’re looking for their true identity on Krakatoa with wide eyes, open ears and loud-ass guitars.
My Dog Ate Chad is exactly what it should be. A conglomeration of 5 flanneled friends from high school throwing their influences at the wall to see what sticks. As evidenced by the 8 tracks here, there are a lot of influences, some literal, as in the ode to drugs of choice “Cherry Coke” and some far flung and ambitious, like the 80’s guitar rock feel of “Ashen Winter.”
“Little Diamond” summons a long-lost Ric Ocacek guitar/synth hook mashed up with garage tones and arm-waving Nada Surf power ballad feels. The execution and exploration here reveal how badly MDAC want to be a band who connects with an audience, which is as important in a young band as anything else.
The staccato, unison stabs on “No Shame” accompany noodly “guitarpeggios” which again remind us that these guys will try anything, and “The Performer” closes things out with distortion-heavy circus slog. While the chord progressions, lyrics and instrumental prowess aren’t groundbreaking on Krakatoa, they’re the sounds every rock musician from older generations recognize when they look their own histories in the mirror.