Song of the day: Sons Of Great Dane – "To A City I Have Known"

February 9, 2013

I’m almost there with the band requests (only three more to go – woohoo!).

Today’s band is Sons Of Great Dane, and it was their bass player, Nolle, who contacted me. (Hi, Nolle!)

As a bass player myself, I love being contacted by one of my musical brethren. (Bass Players Of The World, Unite! Or Whatever It Is Bass Players Do!)

The band name looks like a pun to me, but I have no idea what that pun might be. Does it refer to a movie title? Song title? I could ask the band, but that would just remove the aura of mystery. I think I’ll leave it as a mystery.

Anyway, Nolle contacted me about the band’s latest EP, You Can’t Lose It All, All At Once, which was released in September last year. September. That was about five months ago. For a band that wants to be heard, that’s far too long.

Sorry, chaps, about taking far too long to hear your EP.

Let me not tarry any further, gentlemen. Let me alter my verbiage and adopt the air of a supercilious aristocrat so that I may use garrulous and multitudinous utterances. Prithy, young fellows. Let me press the “play” button they call “play”…

Sons Of Great Dane – You Can’t Lose It All, All At Once (2012)

1. “To A City I Have Known

I don’t know why I typed that paragraph up there. I’ll try not to do it again.

Anyway, within the first five seconds of this song I heard two other songs:

Adam And The Ants – “Antmusic (1980)

Bay City Rollers – “Saturday Night (1975)

That’s what I call a unique combination.

Once the song got going, I thought “I’m liking this”.

By the time it had finished I wondered if the other songs on the EP were going to be this enjoyable.

2. “Love, Desire, Failure

More ant music (0:03-0:06). I’m hoping the drummer isn’t going to do that in every song.

Yep, I liked this one too. I liked how the middle eight built up into a nice big riff.

There I was, enjoying the mood of the song, and then the drummer decided to drop in some ant music again (4:09-4:12), and the mood evaporated. Grrr. However, as (slight) compensation there were nice vocal harmonies after the drummer had stopped, er, “ant”ing.

3. “Approximately 18th St.

That title might be a response to Bob Dylan‘s “Positively 4th Street“. Or not.

I wasn’t all that keen on this particular song, mainly because it consisted of three elements of so-called “indie rock” that I don’t like, namely: a repetitive guitar figure; bass notes up high; and Indie Rock Drum Beat # 9. And why did the drummer put ant music in this song as well (from 0:29 onwards)? I’m really hoping there’s no ant music in the last song.

As for this song, though, I thought the first half of it was way too long – and way too indie. I did like the guitar part the guitarist snuck in between 1:46-1:48, but I thought that belonged in another song. However, the song changed ears at 2:24 and became an entirely different song, one that I much preferred. It lasted until 4:20, where it went back to being the indie song I didn’t like.

Indie Guitar Trivia: The guitar note at 4:58 was bent up a little too high. (It was much better when he did it again at 5:07, although it was a little sharp. The best ones were the third and fourth times he played it, at 5:16 and 5:25 respectively – but the note before that fourth one was a little sharp. Ah well. Swings and roundabouts.)

Incidentally, I thought the song’s fade-out at 5:32 was weird.

4. “For You and Me

For the last track, the band goes into troubadour mode – which means the band disappears, and we’re left with just the singer and an acoustic guitar. I was thinking this was nice and pleasant, but I could have done without the phrase “your winking smile”. I’m not a fan of the phrase “your winking smile”.

The band comes in for the chorus at 0:46 to remind the singer: “This ain’t a solo record, pal”. At 1:46 the band goes away for a while, but come back for the next chorus at 2:17. All in all, I enjoyed this song. I enjoyed the band part more than the troubadour, but that’s because I enjoyed listening to the band.

That was a nice little slide guitar solo (2:58-3:08), but I don’t know what purpose it served in the song (but it sounded nice).


I enjoyed that EP.

Thanks, Nolle! And thanks also to the non-Nolle members of the band!