The Cadaver Dogs - Legalize Cannabilism (Cover Artwork)

The Cadaver Dogs

The Cadaver Dogs: Legalize CannabilismLegalize Cannabilism (2005)

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

Contributed by: JiveSideJiveSide
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There's an attitude in the art world that an artist's work is only as interesting as the artist itself, an attitude I hold myself, and I'm sure, dear reader, an attitude you hold as well. This attitude, however, has seeped into our subconscious through the superficial celebration of the rockstar, as.

There's an attitude in the art world that an artist's work is only as interesting as the artist itself, an attitude I hold myself, and I'm sure, dear reader, an attitude you hold as well. This attitude, however, has seeped into our subconscious through the superficial celebration of the rockstar, as we have come to know it after years of exposure to images of Jim Morrison, Sid Vicious, Roger Plant, James Hetfield, John Lennon and the like who have been thumb-tacked to millions of adolescent bedroom walls. And it has done so without further explanation or investigation in such a way that we all agree, but only on the surface. One may chalk this up to short attention spans, the desire to talk the talk without the ability to walk that darn walk, or musical ignorance (how dare I!), but whatever the reason may be, the imagination of the artist has been shadowed by the presentation of the superstar. The image should say enough most assume, but cover those Madden twins with tattoos and they still sing songs that are anything but dangerous or "edgy," I believe the industry term to be. Write about, talk about, worship the punk DIY and Tim Armstrong will still put out a record on Universal and shoot million dollar videos that will play on TRL. When it comes to discussing music, the image shouldn't be a part of the conversation, unless I'm mistaken and we aren't talking about music here. Only the really good music will offer itself entirely to the listener without the aid of a face to go with the name, and it will be just busting with personality.

Even though we all, musicians or not, try to promote an image that is inconsistent with who we really are, it's refreshing to find those (musicians AND regular people, ha) who are honest enough to explore and share that exploration in finding their true voice with an audience instead of 'this is who I am and this is exactly what I am about.' One will be quick to note that those with the largest vocabulary and least amount of limitations will speak the most eloquently and have the deeper personality to rummage through.

With all that said, may I present to you Legalize Cannibalism, the second full-length, self-produced, self-released record from the Cadaver Dogs, an unlikely and unbelievably talented one-man band from Davenport, Iowa. A one-man band who recently shared the stage with Anthrax in honor of his winning their national songwriting competition to find those unknown wunderkind who are out there among us yet remain off the radar because the poster isn't the goal, the expression and exploration are. And may I say good God!, what fantastic musicianship can come from those who seek out rather than sell out.

Graham Ferguson (guitar, bass, vocals, drum-programming) describes the Cadaver Dogs as a swift kick in the nuts, fusing humor, cynicism, optimism, various metal styles (from Iron Maiden / Megadeth camp to the alterna-camps of Alice in Chains and Nine Inch Nails, with EVERYTHING in between), and some wicked chops. A swift kick it may be, but one that feels as if delivered from many people stretching over many decades of truly interesting musical personalities, and some killer, killer guitar playing.

Snarling dogs, machine-gun drumming, chainsaw guitar licks, sprinting basslines, a vibrato-laced voice wailing about rebirthâ?¦dueling guitars, oh my. And that's only the first two minutes. "You keep my streetlights burnin' all night / You keep my city glowing all night / Give me a reason and I'll pull the plug on you for sure / Take what I don't need leave what I don't want for you and yours / We've made the game you're born to play so study up and obey the rules / My body doesn't make itself, it appears you have someone to do / You'll wear the uniform, I'll watch your children starve and die / You're all working late tonight, feed my electric life / The world is my apartment and I'll decorate it the way I like / 2000 story furniture pollutes the air for free tonight" exclaims "Electric Life" between guitar solos that would make any guitar player, with a right mind, blush and go home to practice. By this time during your listen, remind yourself that this is the work of one guy, note for note, hit by programmed hit, all genuine Graham Ferguson, a name I'm sure will be hard forgotten after this record eats you alive.

Legalize Cannabilism is the manifestation of an incredibly kick-ass band phantasized by a lone musician with a lot to say in several different voices. The louder of these voices being the tastiest, naturally. The tune "Kill the Machine" is not only one of the most well-arranged pieces of instrumental music one could come across, but it is also an excellent demonstration that sometimes the best voice is one's speechless voice. In fact, the strongest moments on this record are the less predictable ones, such as the pogo-ed melody on "One Does Not Agree," the delicate arppeggiated break in "Reborn," the country interlude on "Kill the Machine," the solos (and title) of "Never Gonna Ever Be Enough" and time after time the crazy drum programming. Honestly, dear reader, you haven't heard a man use a drum machine quite like this before, no sir, or ma'am. One-of-a-kind, that's for sure.

Explore your talent; share it with those who care to listen. Challenge your ability to express your imagination in different voices and above all, put your back into it. The best of the best do this and the Cadaver Dogs have done this with Legalize Cannibalism. I hope for and predict huge things from Graham Ferguson, so listen up folks, there's much to be learned from him, and he is very willing to share.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Zackass (April 10, 2006)

Jesus Christ that's shitty. Generally when I see the "staff" icon, I assume it's going to be at least halfway decent. This is complete poop.

SilentStorms (April 10, 2006)

Ok this guy would be muuuuch better if he got someone else to do the vocals, those just fucking suck. But 3/4 ain't too shabby. But damn those vocals!!! Oh god I played another song ... oops.

SilentStorms (April 10, 2006)

Oh my god these vox suck.



SilentStorms (April 10, 2006)

Shouldn't it be The Cadaver Dog? Why pluralize? He's only one guy.

SilentStorms (April 10, 2006)

Alright this kinda seems like ass licking, but I'll check it out.

greg0rb (April 9, 2006)

Hey Forrest! Welcome back! How ya doin' buddy? Very well written review I must say, but these guys werent exactly up my alley when we played with them at Augustana, but that was years ago...

kindofalongwaydown (April 9, 2006)

Is that a thundercats logo?

GreenVandal (April 9, 2006)

fr real? I dnt think s.

jiveside (April 8, 2006)

And "dont" has an apostrophe in it. Thanks fr the grammar check, I'd say we're even now.

Scruffy (April 8, 2006)

Ken, is that really the name of your band?
If so, it's quite possibly the best band name ever, and I want to hear it just by the name. GIve me more info if this is the case.

Anonymous (April 8, 2006)

"Even though we all, musicians or not, try to promote an image that is inconsistent with who we really are"

Yeah. I Named my band "Read A Goddamn Book" because I'm illiterate.
Actually, people who work to bolster some sort of image that doesn't fit with their actual self are called poseurs.


GreenVandal (April 7, 2006)

This stuff is absolutely fucking horrible. Dont review your friends' music here please. Thats the only way I could ever envision this crap even being noticed.

And for has an o in it.

jiveside (April 7, 2006)

Thanks fr reading folks, and yes, it's Robert Plant, not Roger. Sometimes the keyboard gets tickled too much. Oh, it's also Canabalism, not Cannabalism, but thanks fr looking past the light scratches.

In response to the comments about the vocal performance, there are two things I'd like to mention. The first being that I'm sure we're all Dinosaur Jr fans, Tom Waits fans, The Clash fans, Iggy Pop fans, Henry Rollins fans, hell even those that are Tim Armstrong fans; the intention is sometimes more than the activity. The second being that Graham uses many different vocal approaches, so you gotta listen to the whole thing. As I said in the review, he's not afraid to experiment with different voices. What this means is that he hasn't decided that this is the way I sing, like that guy from New Found Glory (he don't talk like that! Why does he sing like that?!), and since this band is ALL him, his voice is not solely sung through the larynx.

Thanks fr reading folks, I aim to end a long hiatus so be on the lookout fr more of my reviews. Oh, and feel free to check out this music, it's free and Graham wants you to. Peace AouT.


Anonymous (April 7, 2006)

"By the way, that comment by Will below is just proof that he just likes being a douche sometimes."

i dont know, maybe will is sometimes, but i think that statement in the review is way off base.

Testiclese (April 7, 2006)

actually its growing on me

Testiclese (April 7, 2006)

when a guy sings this bad, he really shouldnt be singing

the music is cool though

Anonymous (April 7, 2006)

By the way, that comment by Will below is just proof that he just likes being a douche sometimes.

Anonymous (April 7, 2006)

Roger Plant or Robert Plant?

sirens (April 7, 2006)

I hate you, Reviewer. That was such a wonderful review. Then I heard the music, and it was horrible. Not even horrible, just fucking waste of my time bad. You get the over hype of the year award.

Anonymous (April 7, 2006)

Score goes for name of band and album.

Vincent_M (April 7, 2006)

Pitchfork comes to punknews, Pt. I: Stay turned for more!

Really though, good review. I'll have to look into these guys

sickboi (April 7, 2006)

Musically, I really dig. I don't really care for the vocals though.

Anonymous (April 7, 2006)

are you a new staffer? or one that doesnt write many reviews? i dont think i have ever noticed you

Anonymous (April 7, 2006)

"Even though we all, musicians or not, try to promote an image that is inconsistent with who we really are"

We do? How?


tylerdurden8136 (April 7, 2006)

that is some sweet cover art.

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