There was a time when Dog Eat Dog were just about the biggest thing to come out of the New York Hardcore scene, when they were climbing charts worldwide, were on every festival bill and popped up on every other television show. Then they just seemed to disappear, fading into the background noise of the all-powerful machine that pushes bands to the top and then chews and spits them out when it decides it’s had enough of their brand of whatever it is they do.
And it was a damn shame when it happened to Dog Eat Dog, as they were taking Hardcore, albeit their melodic rap heavy take on the genre, to the masses and they were doing it with style, class and a sense of humour that was engaging and entertaining and brought a whole new generation of kids into the fold. Whether that was a good or a bad thing is debateable, and much as I’d love to get into the minutia of that particular debate this isn’t the time or the place for that conversation, but as far as I’m concerned the more the merrier and if you’re down with the core, I don’t care how you got here, I’m just happy to see you at the shows.
Where was I? Oh yes, Dog Eat Dog, who I’ve always had a soft spot for since I saw them opening a Brixton Academy show back in ninety diggity something or other, as a last minute replacement for Pro-Pain, for The Goats, Bad Brains and Fishbone. They impressed the heck out of me that night, and ever since then, they’ve never failed to make me smile. If you’re looking for some sort of biting, meaningful social message, then folks Dog Eat Dog aren’t the band for you as they’re all about people coming together, having a good time and everyone, as Bill and Ted so famously said, being excellent to each other and All Boro Kings Live is a perfect snapshot of the band sharing their ethos in the environment in which they function best; on stage.
I’m not usually a fan of live records, as in all honesty none will even come close to matching the raw power and intensity of It’s Alive, but Dog Eat Dog have upped the ante with All Boro Kings Live which manages to capture, for posterity and the bands ever loyal and faithful fanbase, their infectious energy and the band having just as much fun as the folks who go to see them to dance, slam and dive their cares away. Every dog has its day, and this just might be Dog Eat Dog’s… Tim Cundle