Various - Pledge: A Tribute to Kerbdog
Richard Wink 22/03/2010
For those unaware of Kerbdog, they were a cult Irish rock band from the early nineties who released excellently produced metallic grrunge. They are influential in the same way that bands like Quicksand and The Auteurs are influential; mainly because they achieved little commercial success, but possessed some semblance of artistic credibility. Oh, and they wrote some fucking excellent songs.
I've heard only a couple of tribute albums (dedicated to Black Sabbath and Metallica respectively) previously, and though I can't question the sentiment of bands and artists that contribute to tributes, I just feel a little empty after listening to an album of covers, most of which weaken my memories of the original tracks.
I guess this album depends on your appreciation of Kerbdog, and whether or not you like the artists involved in this collection, a host of British Rock nearly men placed alongside a bunch of hungry newbies.
InMe were at one stage touted to be the next big thing by Kerrang, and anticipated to perhaps make the lucrative leap into the mainstream that Biffy Clyro have made in the last two or three years, (coincidentally Biffy Clyro have often mentioned the influence of Kerbdog, and there edition on a tribute such as this might have given the album a little more kudos), InMe's Dave McPherson provides a novel rendition of 'J.J's Song'.
Reuben's Jamie Lenman energetic version of 'Mexican Wave' acts more of a reminder of how gutted we are that Reuben never got the credit they deserved, and who knows maybe in a decade's time the Camberley trio will themselves be gifted with the tribute treatment. But it's all a bit so what? Despite Frank Turner offering a lesson in authentic balladry with his acoustic version of 'Sally', Stations snarl on 'Schism', Dry Rise's menacing take on 'Dragging Through' and Cars on Fire rumbling through 'Pledge'.
What I did immediately after listening to this album was seek Kerbdog's Self Titled debut and the follow up On The Turn. If nothing else it taught me that nobody does it better than the band did it themselves.