When I first saw the artwork cover of Mad Dog I thought that finally the stallion on W.A.S.P.’s Live Animal 7” got his portrait on a front cover. Mad Dog is a forgotten gem, a record that came out the same year with aforementioned W.A.S.P. single and every N.W.O.B.H.M. devotee should own. Mad Dog are one of those bands that few know their name and even fewer know their story. Despite the tech revolution as internet is now in every home at the western world, still some will stay forever in the shadows and their work will shine only to a small minority. Hailing from South Wales, Mad Dog formed in 1977. Their first name was The Screaming Abduls, but I guess many high school kids around the world all these years came up with worst names than this one…as they ended up to Mad Dog that sounded a lot punkier than Equus that was also on the table. Their first regular lineup was finished after many changes behind the drum kit and eventually was: Eddie Edmunds on vocals, Steve George on bass, Tony Medlicott aka M on guitars, Huw Evans aka Busby on guitars and John Roberts aka Viv on drums. Their love for punk was certain as their devotion to Heavy Metal and Black Sabbath as in Ted Nugent too. In 1987 they released their one and only full length self-named studio album. All of you that love the mixture of early hardcore, punk ‘n roll with N.W.O.B.H.M. you will be thrilled. It’s like The Ramones with Bill Idol on vocals try to play Saxon songs or like Lemmy and co are jamming on some The Stranglers tunes. Of course, don’t let me be misunderstood… we are dealing with a 100% N.W.O.B.H.M. album that honors the roots or pure rock n’ roll. The band has straddled the line between punk and heavy metal and no matter wrote songs muscular enough to appeal to both audiences. ‘Fallin’ gets you from the throat with its rock ‘n roll rhythm that reminds me Tank and the brilliant chorus. ‘Johnny Cyclops’ has a tremendous vibe, the guitars are flashing and breathtaking, and to make a long story short is an ultimate anthem that for some reason is so underrated.
I have mentioned so many times that probably 1987 was too late for N.W.O.B.H.M. heroes but damn it, it’s never too late for a great song. Still we have to remember that back in the 80’s people voted Thatcher and Reagan so…’It All Comes Down’ is another excellent song with a catchy rhythm, while ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ and ‘Shangai Joe’ (originally named ‘All Remembers Shangai Joe’ as it appeared with this title on the 1986 demo) have a bluesy aura and feeling. ‘Five Bucks To Nyc’ is like popped up from an Alice Cooper album from the late 80’s. ‘The Last Green Wilderness’ is a power ballad where Mad Dog builds up a tension real nicely, including a good guitar solo at the end as beautiful climax. Even though they never made it to the record Mad Dog had some interesting songs they used to play on their live gigs. Their set was 50% covers 50% originals. ‘Frying Tonite’ had some quite impressive lyrics like ‘we’re gonna bake a few Nazis tonite shove them in the oven and close it tight’ showing an antifascist character. Some titles from these rare songs were ‘Free Spirit’, ‘The Shadow Knows’, ‘Killer’ and ‘Someone Here Must Like Me’ which appeared on the Z Block Recs compilation featuring bands from South Wales entitled ‘Is the War Over’ in 1979. Unfortunately, besides this self-titled LP there was only a demo from 1986 featuring 4 tracks and a 1984 single entitled ‘Sheriff’ (Β’ side ’You’re A Beautiful Sight’) which is very rare and extremely popular among collectors from Mad Dog. They eventually split up around late 80’s and in 2014 reunite with 3 original members Steve George on bass, Tony Medlicott on guitars, and John Roberts Viv on drums as The Dog and a new vocalist.