Caninus "Locking Jaws"

Caninus 'Locking Jaws'
Having just read the February issue of GQ and its frighteningly fascinating article "Violence of the Lambs,” informing us about the outbreak of revenge attacks by the world’s animal population, a band like Caninus, I feel, are more formidable than ever. Billed as "The World's First Ever Animal-Fronted Band," this Brooklyn-based fivesome are both a publicist’s dream come true and a tour manager’s absolute nightmare. In case you didn’t read that properly, this band uses DOGS AS THEIR SINGERS.

Before you go there, know that this isn’t some "Jingle Dogs” stunt. This fiercely vegan band originally formed in 1992, and while they aren’t exactly an active bunch – understandable considering the quarantine and visa issues that come with travelling pets – they have released some records over the years, including a 2004 album titled Now the Animals Have a Voice, and most recently a split with gore grinders Cattle Decapitation in 2005 (see the amusing promo below). But the band have made a name for themselves through other outlets, including word of mouth praise from metal dude Andrew WK and high profile celebs like Howard Stern and Susan Sarandon (???).

In this day and age when achieving originality through song is next to impossible, expanding the line-up to include man’s best friend is an interesting alternative to the norm. Surprisingly, using two pit bulls (Budgie and Basil) as vocalists for a grind/death metal act works rather well. Instead of the indecipherable guttural growling you get indecipherable guttural barking, which if you think about it feels more genuine, considering most grindcore vocalists sound like they’re trying to imitate an attack dog. (In case you’re wondering, they once told Vice their secret to recording vocals "involves lots of rawhide and doorbells.”)

Sure enough, on "Locking Jaws” you can hear either Budgie or Basil – not sure which one since I always get them mixed up – really sick that unlucky rawhide faux shoe, while guitarists Belle Molotov and Sudz Exodus shred away as ferociously as their front-dogs’ growls on the insane few seconds towards the end. Why this band haven’t become the biggest curiosity in music or even a 15-minute novelty phenomenon at this point, I have no idea. Though, my guess is because they play grinding death metal.

Caninus "Locking Jaws”

Check out more songs at Caninus' MySpace page.

"Humanburger” Cattle Decapitation/Caninus Split Promo