Friday, April 17, 2020



Something magical happens when siblings form bands. From The Everly Brothers to Oasis, there’s a dynamic within that ‘group’ that tends to lift that music to a different level. However, two (or more) siblings in a band can cause so much friction that the resulting sparks burn the whole band to the ground. There’s a fine line between love and hate and sometimes, siblings forget how to tell the difference between the two. One pair of brothers has managed to create beautiful music together for 45 years and show no signs of the dreaded ‘sibling rivalry’ cliché: Peter O’Doherty and Reg Mombassa (real name: Chris O’Doherty). As members of Mental As Anything (from 1976 to 2000) and Dog Trumpet (since 1990), Reg and Peter don’t follow any formula or blueprint – they just get on with creating music. And on GREAT SOUTH ROAD, their seventh full length album, the brothers have created something that can easily be described as ‘sibling revelry’.

While they both arrive at the same destination – thoughtful Folk-infused Rock – the brothers travel down different paths to get there. Peter uses beauty to paint his musical pictures – his melodies speak to the heart, offering warm and comforting vibrations while his lyrics soothe the soul. Reg, on the other hand, takes a different approach, much like your favorite eccentric uncle. His music is most certainly from the heart but he paints a different kind of picture – you can find beauty in the darkness and darkness in the beauty. These two approaches complement each other, often over-lapping and frolicking together in the Dog Trumpet aural universe.

After over 40 years of creating music. Reg and Peter are still discovering new ways to express themselves. While some of their recordings have been a bit introverted, GREAT SOUTH ROAD is an album that finds the brothers opening up and letting the music breathe. But have no fear, there are still plenty of layers here to unpack, both musically and lyrically. On the surface, Dog Trumpet make records that seem simple and easily digestible but once you dive in, there’s so much depth. And it is safe to say that GREAT SOUTH ROAD is a feast of conflicting emotions by two clever yet grounded songwriters. While it is most certainly a cliché to say, these chaps are still at the top of their game.

Highlights include “Not Quite Enough”, “Lonely Death Cleaning Company”, “Stay For Too Long”, “Gravity”, “You’ve Heard It All Before”, “Gangrene”… To be honest, you could replace those song titles with any of the other tracks and I’ll still stand by them, too. Mesmerizing from start to finish.

Dog Trumpet doesn’t make Pop-by-numbers records. GREAT SOUTH ROAD is immediately appealing yet it can be deceiving at the same time. Reg and Peter make albums that are honest, intelligent, and melodic. And to say that this is quite possibly their finest – and certainly most consistent – collection of songs might be an understatement. There’s really nothing quite like a Dog Trumpet album – classy, eccentric, and lovely. And they still sound as fresh and original as they did back in the early Mentals days. GREAT SOUTH ROAD is one of the year’s best albums and climbs to the top of the Dog Trumpet ‘best albums’ list.

Keep on truckin',

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