Three-pronged punk meets grunge – aka Sponge Grunge – rockers Guide Dog are one of the more unusual, albeit entertaining and interesting bands we’ve met of late.
From a minor obsession with dirty nappies to writing music about celebrating the joys of passing 30 by getting drunk and debauched, the Cardiff trio of Peter Roberts (vocals / guitar), John Maloney (drums) and Ian Russell (bass) are certainly an intriguing bunch – who describe themselves as ‘a bunch of wankers who can’t sing and can’t play our instruments.’
We can certainly testify that at least two parts of that statement are incorrect, and you’ll be able to discover that for yourself shortly as the band’s debut album Lovely Domestic Bliss is out on 7 July, from which they’ve just released debut single I Am The Daddy.
We had a chat with Peter this week and asked for his thoughts on the imminent album. He said: “It’s the culmination of 5 years of writing through various styles and various vocational situations, hitting 30 and being drunk and debauched all the time and seeing no alternative, then elevating out of it to having two kids and the highs and lows of everything that comes with that. So yeah, pretty excited! Lots of piss and shit in there.”
Lovely stuff. Guide Dog began in some form back in 1999 when a couple of them put out a single on Cardiff Community Council-funded label Complete Control, under the name Robots In The Sky. The 90’s kids were obsessed with brit-pop and seeing Gaz Coombes in Supergrass’ first Glastonbury appearance sealed the deal with wanting to be in a band. Over the years they’ve been involved in bands like Tetra Splendour, People In Planes and Cold Specks, until forming Guide Dog.
Peter describes the band to us as: “Rambling about parenthood and working in accounts in the construction industry over some thick sleazy indie three piece rock.”
The result is pretty damn good and packed with enjoyable lyrics and hooky riffs. I Am The Daddy kicks off with a high-pitched guitar blitz before diving into a fun opening verse, in which the line “I am a zombie with a spreadsheet for all my sins” pretty much sums up their lyrical focus, and a big singalong chorus. Another guitar blitz follows, then another engaging verse of lamenting lyrics culminating in a big dreamy, distorted pre-chorus following the line “The answer my friend sounds like distortion.”
Check it out in the stream below:
Describing what influences their music, Peter explains, or rather lists: “Crappy nappies. Hi-Vis Vests. Training days. Offices. Work’s Christmas do’s. Spreadsheets. Webinars. School runs. Being in your thirties. Fucking up. Moving on. Quitting smoking. Starting pilates. Mowing the lawn. Peppa Pig. The symbolic beauty of a hole-punch avalanche. Essential oils. Four door saloons. The eternal cyclical nihilistic hum of life and death…”
Lovely Domestic Bliss is out on 7 July, and Guide Dog will be launching the album with a gig at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff on 14 July, so if you’re in the area that evening then get yourself along there.