Dogma -- Feeding the Future (King/Mercury)
Driving, darkly melodic hard rock from the thoughtful side of New York's grimy streets. If anyone remembers a band from the early '90s called Mindfunk, perhaps you'll get a handle on Dogma. Kinda caught in that post-grunge thing (the singer's got a powerhouse voice that trembles with passion - anger, frustration, and appreciation) yet incorporating more than a smidge of Helmet chomping guitars, tribal drumming some prong-esque vocals, hints of Clutch (besides the influence of producer Steve Thompson) and a power ballad, "Conversation," that could be the feel good-anthem for the rebel yell boys of summer 1997.
Feeding the Future opens with channel-surfing MED TV (there is a definite organism awareness theme here), an updated tip of the hat to "Do you Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" by the Ramones, then a slowly building riff with spoken intro (you're expecting Korn's Jonathan Davis to roar "Are you ready?!" at any time), then the chorus of "Cancer" launches in with Phil Allocco's powerful lead plowing through what sounds like a ghoulish cheerleading section. From there the heavy grooves are laid thick and nasty, the vocals soar triumphantly (imagine a lone eagle circling a junkyard littered with smashed TVs, mangled cars, and stacks of non-biodegradable trash whose life expectancy far exceeds ours), and the lyrics coin the phrase for the frustration you feel, Again the Mindfunk reference comes to mind - a barrel-chested vocalist pouring it on, hitting the nail on the head with precise lyrics and passionate delivery. While the word passionate has become a marketing tool to describe every whining pussy's inane, derivative, drivel-mistaken-for-poetry, Dogma has heartfelt strength, intelligence, and something interesting to say.
By Scott Hefflon
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