I've discovered Dog Fashion Disco in early 2011 and it didn't take the band long to rise among my all time favorite music acts and I feel that the least I can do is a little tribute retrospective of their work!
"Erotic Massage" was the band's debut album and it's a hard album to find unless you come upon it on eBay or some obscure flea market. The easiest way to get this album is by downloading it, which can hardly be considered illegal since the band have done pretty much everything to conceal this release from it's audience and have so far never re-released the album after it's initial run. Yes, the guys in Dog Fashion Disco are literally ashamed of "Erotic Massage" and there are quite a few legitimate reasons for that. Not only is the production quality a notch below that of "Experiments In Alchemy", but it also features subpar musicianship and a very different music style compared to the rest of Dog Fashion Disco catalog.
I really felt appalled by my initial experience of "Erotic Massage" which sounded very amateurish to my ears. Fortunately I decided to give the album a few more chances over a month's time and this tactic clearly worked in favor of the album. Not only did I begin to see what Dog Fashion Disco were going for with this release but I also found this early 'unexperienced' approach to music-making very charming.
Album opening "The Christian Dance Song" is probably the closest that this album comes to the style of the later Dog Fashion Disco material and shows an eclectic approach to metal that we, the fans, are so used to by now. "G. Eye Joe" is an early take of a classic Dog Fashion Disco composition which, together with "A Corpse Is A Corpse", will be re-recorded on quite a few occasions later in the band's career. These early takes feel as just that; there is still a lot of work needed to be done in order to get them to the level that is displayed on the band's third album "The Embryo's In Bloom".
After a few tracks of familiar content, the album finally drops a ball by giving us a completely different side of Dog Fashion Disco that I personally did not see coming! Tracks like "Wait", "Lost In Anacostia" and "Hypnotic Techno Underwater Encounter" have clearly no connection to the Avant-garde Metal genre and instead can be categorized as quirky rock tunes. Luckily the album gets pretty awesome with the first sounds of R.E.M.'s "Everybody H...", I mean "Lookin' For Love (Part One)"! A sweet number that will be pretty unique in the band's repertoire since they've never done a nice ballad like this ever again. Come to think of it, whatever happened to the Part Two?
Overall, "Erotic Massage" is a great little treat for fans of Dog Fashion Disco and I actually think that fans of quirky metal music will get a bit enjoyment out of this material as well. Unfortunately most people won't bother to even seek out this release due to its obscurity. I really hope that the band will reconsider and give the album a new release on their newly formed Razor To Wrist Records, but somehow i doubt that this will ever happen.
***** star songs: Lookin' For Love (Part One) (4:19)
**** star songs: The Christian Dance Song (4:35) G. Eye Joe (3:20) Wait (5:07) China White (2:29) Communion (4:42) Oral Spunk (Live In Moscow) (3:22) Hypnotic Techno Underwater Encounter (4:07) A Corpse Is A Corpse (7:08) [unknown] (4:16)
*** star songs: Lost In Anacostia (3:06) Vernal Equinox (2:08) Content (5:05)