The Parlor Mob's bid for rock & roll stardom was initially thwarted by major-label reshuffling (dropped by Capitol, they quickly reemerged with the ostensibly independent Roadrunner), then stunted by confusing musical allegiances (lost somewhere between retro- and indie rock, they followed Wolfmother and the Sword into "hipster metal" purgatory), so it's now up to their sophomore album, Dogs, to turn the band's career prospects around. What's more, the Asbury Park, New Jersey natives have to pray that consumers will listen with eyes closed and minds opened, ignoring the intra-genre politics and critical recriminations ignited by the issues cited above, in order to give said music a fair shot. So, eyes closed now, just listen. Fundamentally, Dogs finds the Parlor Mob aiming to first streamline, then modernize their debut's classic hard rock hallmarks, losing most of their primal hard rock bombast (and reams of colorful keyboard and organ backdrops), but gaining some infectious simplicity in the process.
When Bronwen Dickey brought her new dog home, she saw no traces of the infamous viciousness in her affectionate, timid pit bull. Which made her wonder: how had the breed-beloved by Teddy Roosevelt, Helen Keller, TV's "Little Rascals"-come to be known as a brutal fighter?