Music Spotlight: Sea Dogs

Music Spotlight: Sea Dogs

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The chameleons of Newfoundland rock, Sea Dogs bend boundaries and blow minds with their highly anticipated sophomore record, Mt. Scio

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There are folk bands, rock bands, metal bands, punk bands, garage bands and those – bless their hearts – who should perform to an audience of none. 

Well, for five piece rock stable of all out intensity and good time glory, Sea Dogs, genre is just a word in the dictionary sandwiched between genotype and gens. 

Crafted With TLC 

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Yes, the chameleons of Newfoundland rock ‘n’ roll have performed on stages with acts ranging from those your grandson would snap his neck to, all the way up to the ones nan and pop would try in vein to download from iTunes. Their albums read like a constantly fluctuating Jackson Pollock painting, with no two tracks daring to sound repetitive. 

That is the case with the Sea Dogs’ sophomore record Mt. Scio. Crafted with TLC and copious amounts of gusto at the farmhouse/studio of famed local producer Don Ellis, the five-piece of Dale Drew, Dan Moore, Karl Hawkins, Darren Reid and Jeff Devereaux have forged a record to gorge on in 2018, and one that will taste differently to most every pallet. 

“People who listen to the first record or this one, it’s hilarious, because people will say ‘I totally hear Guns N’ Roses,’ or someone will say they hear Cornell. ‘Or you guys are totally channeling Lynyrd Skynyrd’,” Reid says in a sitdown with The Herald. “If every person came up and said you’re Alice Cooper, then we failed. For everybody to hear the individuals favourite band, like Sabbath or Thin Lizzy, it’s great. We’re all quite varied in the stuff that we listen to.”

“Everyone has background that is a list as long as your arm,” adds Devereaux. “We get into the jam room and we’re everything and nothing.”

The part about the background as long as your arm is no exaggeration. The combined forces of the five pillars of Sea Dogs rock reads like a legacy list of the local scene. Search into the archives of our musical rock culture and you’ll find the names of the band attached next to the likes of Wizards of Kaos, Physical Graffiti, Electrikompany and the mighty Sheavy. 

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These guys have put in the reps and have the chops to rival just about any set of rockers out there today, and they’re still only scratching the surface of their creative best. 

‘A Black Hole’ 

Asked as to how the creative process goes down, Reid offers an interesting metaphor. 

“It’s like a black hole in the middle of all of us and things get sucked into it,” he says with a laugh. “You look at that black hole and it’s like oh look, there’s a song! Deadly! Seriously man, musically we finish each others sentences.”

“If we remembered half of what we’ve forgotten, we’d have another album out by now,” Devereaux says in agreement. “We record every jam. There’s a couple of times we’ll sit down and say look at this riff! We don’t think let’s go for this type of feel or that type of feel.”

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For five musicians who have been there done that and have a closet full of t-shirts, Sea Dogs are a passion project unlike few others this side of the Atlantic. 

“We always say it’s group therapy. Jam night is group therapy,” Devereaux explains. “My misses knows it, everyone’s significant other knows that it’s not just jam. If you had a crappy day, or crappy week at work, Wednesday night we’re lettin’ er go!”

At the end of the day, each salty Sea Dog is the conduit for whatever jolt of rock euphoria that strikes. Mt. Scio is all of that dressed up real pretty, and it’s damn fun to listen to. 

“We’re along for the ride really,” Devereaux says. “At times we don’t have much control of what we’re playing.”

 

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Dillon Collins is a writer based out of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Multi-time MusicNL nominee for Media Person of the Year. Lover of heavy metal, hoppy beverages and the loveable canine.

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