Song of the Day: A Giant Dog – Bendover

photo by Sean Daigle

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is “Bendover” by A Giant Dog from the album Toy, which was released August 25 on Merge Records.

A Giant Dog – Bendover (MP3)

In the music video for A Giant Dog‘s “Bendover,” the Austin quintet fulfills their 1980s hair metal fantasies. Clad in their best leather garb, the clip epitomizes the balance achieved by A Giant Dog: the band at once indulges their “shlock rock” fantasies, has their collective tongue planted firmly in cheek, but also manages to demonstrate their love and enthusiasm for their oft-excessive influences. Where 2015’s great Pile sounded like a manic T. Rex record, Toy somehow sounds even more unhinged. “Bendover,” today’s Song of the Day,” joins memorable vocal performances from Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen with an off-kilter chorus that mixes power pop with a leaden sludge reminiscent of factory runoff.

Though perhaps an easy comparison, Ellis and Cashen’s vocals on “Bendover” draw upon the art-pop idols Sparks, whose great “Angst in my Pants” gets the A Giant Dog treatment on Toy. Ellis’s voice veers between an upper-register quaver and a guttural belt, giving Russell Mael’s trademark falsetto a run for its money. A Giant Dog’s dual vocal approach makes every song a freak anthem, like a 1970s would-be hit which was rejected by a record company for being too demonic.

A Giant Dog will play the Sunset Tavern on October 26th, as well as Spokane, WA’s The Bartlett on the 25th. This is part of a lengthy tour for the Toy LP. For more information, check out the band’s website and Facebook page. In the meantime, here is the aforementioned music video for “Bendover.”

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