Picks and Pans Review: Every Dog Has Its Day

updated 02/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Salty Dog

Oh, God, you say, not another band of L.A. bad boys signed in the platinum rush that followed Guns n' Roses' smash-through. Well, yes, but Salty Dog has a few serviceable tricks to separate them from the pack.

The most distinctive talent in the group is Jimmi Bleacher, a singer whose vocal reach truly exceeds his octave grasp. He favors a strained but nevertheless effective gizzard-in-the-wringer falsetto. Guitarist Pete Reveen is never going to set the world on fire with his solos but he isn't exactly flame-retardant either, and he gives songs like "Where the Sun Don't Shine" some nice nuts-and-bolts chord structures. At its best, the group can turn out songs such as "Come Along" and "Keep Me Down" with an uncluttered but driving rock surge. They're also capable of batting around tiresome blues-rock cliches like "Ring My Bell" and "Heave Hard (She Comes Easy)."

The oddest song on Every Dog Has Its Day has to be the cover of "Spoonful," which is so anguished and wrought up that Willie Dixon would have trouble recognizing his old blues number. Actually the I band always sounds pretty high-strung, even on countrified tunes like "Just Like a Woman" (not the Dylan song) and "Sacrifice Me."

They somehow manage to maintain that intense impression despite the fact I that their style is pretty much on the back-porch relaxed side, especially so for a new group. That paradox is what makes Salty Dog stand out from all the other more-bruisin'-than-bruised leather-and-mascara bands that flock to the Strip. (Geffen)

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