THE SUNDOGS: BB GUN DAYS (Alpine Road '04)

The Sundogs' BB Gun Days opens like a house on fire with the guitar blast of "Oasis" filling speakers with the same vintage rock n' roll sound as The Black Crowes' eye-opening Shake Your Money Maker.

The Atlanta, Georgia, quartet is led by two brothers, Lee and Will Haraway, who have written eleven songs on this independent release. The Sundogs also includes lead guitarist, Matt Ulmer and drummer, Kevin Leahy. Live, these musicians exhibit incredible energy and versatility by powering through straight-ahead rock and often launching into brilliant jams. The Haraways' melodic vocals mix as well as one might expect from two guys who have been singing together their entire lives, and BB Gun Days showcases this brotherly bond very well.

Several tracks in particular stand out on this well-rounded album: the boogie stomp of "Wasting Time," the laid-back groove of "Foodhook" and the peaceful, easy feeling of the instrumental, "Greenfinger," which features Lee Haraway on pedal steel. "Last Drink" offers simplicity reminiscent of Uncle Tupelo, and the Skynryd-esque rocker, "Long Gone," really gives Ulmer a chance to shine.

While these tracks are fantastic, the real pinnacle of BB Gun Days is the opener, "Oasis." In it, Lee Haraway's vocals and signature guitar riff convey a rock n' roll attitude throughout the cut while Ulmer blasts through his Wah Wah pedal. All of this is in perfect rhythm with Will Haraway's funky bass line and Leahy's powerhouse drumming. This dramatic tune is guaranteed to be responsible for many speeding tickets. "Oasis" absolutely rocks, but lyrically, the Haraways' best effort is "Last Song," a haunting ballad about death and loss that closes the record:

This is the last song before I go pack up my guitar
This is the last drink before I pour another for sure
Hear the last words on your lips
I feel I'm breathing slow
I'm walking around on my last legs
Or didn't you know

BB Gun Days is a terrific first effort for The Sundogs and a sign of great things to come.

Harry McNeil
JamBase | Georgia
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[Published on: 12/15/04]

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