Review - Dog in the Sand

Artist: Frank Black and the Catholics

When you line up for the new Frank Black, you line up for clean, honest rock. It doesn't matter how many tracks it gets recorded on, either (in this case, we are informed, live to two-track, sans edits). If you're not familiar with his Frankness, prepare to have your brain challenged with pleasantly enigmatic layers of lyrics/puzzles while simultaneously being bombarded with attacking guitar.

A lot of the familiar Blackian themes are covered on "Dog in the Sand": rocket propulsion, the heartbreak of dam disaster, melancholy ruminations on the remnants of love that rarely stoop to actually using the word. Now, that's art. And it's all about the wall of guitar on this project, with a minimum of three six-strings spanking away on 10 of the dozen "Dog" legs. Ever the wordsmith, the Dennis Miller of alt-rock dips into his Black well of vocabulary-boosterisms -- pelagic, choragic, zugzwang, anybody? -- giving your brain a light workout.

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