Tyla’s Dogs D’amour “Tree Bridge Cross”
Let’s get this out of the way …there will always be some debate and controversy over Tyla’s choice of name for this project and group of musicians. We also put our hands up as being massive fans of The Dogs D’amour and would love to see them reform. BUT that’s not the point of this review. What’s most important about this is that Tyla is still being creative and finding ways for us all to enjoy his rare talent.
It has to be said that there is a real sense of darkness and melancholy to songs like “Tree Bridge Cross” and “God Only Knows”. That feeling continues with “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth” although that’s more in line with the ‘usual’ bar room ballads that Tyla is associated with. Even the duet with another scuzz rock legend Spike keeps things on the more down beat tone. But maybe that’s all in keeping with most of our feelings over the past couple of years.
The opening half of the album certainly seems more like Tyla’s darker solo material than the work of his former band. “Angel Lane” is probably the first song to show a bit of ‘swagger’ as it transcends into an impressive gypsy ballad. Things then really kick off with some more rocking tunes. Particular favorites of ours are the brilliant “Buried Alive” and “Raining Fire” These tunes have an almost glam/grunge sound that strangely makes us think of Mother Love Bone (although this may be just because we have recently listened to that album).
Of course, any album involving Tyla has to include some soulful ballads that tug at the heartstrings. Those requirements are met by “I’ll Keep My Powder Dry” which is the kind of tune which will lead to men crying into their beer (or red wine). Equally “Moth To The Flame” and “Ghosts” demonstrate that he certainly hasn’t lost his touch for writing songs that hint at a sense of fragility. These tracks could easily have sat on some of the classic albums from the original, legendary, Dogs D’amour. Indeed, if your preference is for the more acoustic side of things then this release also provides the opportunity to have a second cd that contains alternative versions of many of the songs. These versions are definitely for those seeking solace in a bottle of red at the end of the night!
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but this release certainly suggests that you shouldn’t always take for granted what Tyla will deliver. It’s an album that’s reflective of the times we currently live in and the ongoing relevance of emotion filled rock songs. The timing of the release seems appropriate as this isn’t a summer time feel good album but more the perfect accompaniment to a drink on a cold autumnal evening. So put the album on, grab a glass of your favourite tipple, sit in front of the fire and enjoy.