DOG FACED HERMANS

52001Dog Faced Hermans
Humans Fly / Every Day Timebomb, Loveletter Recordings

“Orchestral instruments, including viola, trumpet, and saxophone, were combined with such oddities as hippo tube and foghorn to create the ultra-loud post-punk sounds of the Dog Faced Hermans. Although the group disbanded in 1995, the members of the Dog Faced Hermans remain active. Bass guitarist and steel drum player Colin McLean worked with Pere Ubu vocalist David Thomas before become a full-time sound engineer for the Ex. Guitar, hippo tube, and viola player Andy Ex went on work with the Ex, Kletka Red, Little Red Spiders, and the Magpie Dance Company. Nigerian-born vocalist and trumpet/bells player Marion Coutts relocated to London, where she played briefly with Spaceheads and works as a sculptor and lecturer. In addition to playing drums with Rhythm Activism, Wilf Plum has worked as a DJ in Amsterdam and had led his own group, Johnny Distance & the Web Riders.”-Craig Harris

“An extraordinary group from the ’80s underground punk scene, Dog Faced Hermans’ work parallels their Dutch counterparts, the Ex, and they draw their sound from a great degree of ingenuity, taking their inspiration from Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, Au Pairs, and the Slits. Their sound is explosive, funky, and accomplished — at moments as delicate and improvisational as Sonic Youth, at others as hard as Gang of Four or the Pop Group. Melodies can sound almost folky in parts and, in fact, this album features an extraordinary rendering of “John Henry” wedged between two of their standouts: “Binding System” and “Beautiful.” Fans of the proto-punk sound of groups such Crass, the Ex, and Kletka Red — who expand the punk rock pallet to incorporate the approaches of free improvisation, avant rock, folk, and even psychedelia — should check out this exceptionally innovative group. Needless to say, Humans Fly is a great album, though the uninitiated are advised to check out the outstanding Those Deep Buds, which appeared in the ’90s on Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label.”-Dean McFarlane, All Music