detroit dogs“We're the most underground, underground band out there,” says Loren Molinare of the Detroit-born-and-bred early L.A. punk veterans The DoGs, whose second LP “Hypersensitive” from 2012 will finally be released on vinyl via prestige Polish punk ‘n’ roll label Heavy Medication Records on September 1. 

“We’re really proud to reissue this ‘lost classic’ for the first time on vinyl,” says Heavy Medication president Derrick Ogrodny. “We're honored to work with such protopunk legends and think it’s about time these DoGs had their day.”  

“We're one of the last bands with original members that actually sound like a proper Detroit rock band,” continues Molinare, the man Ogrodny calls “the Pete Townshend of punk rock.” “And yes, I mean some things never change. We carry on that tradition. That's what we do.

“We're just kind of picking our spot. We're white trash Detroit rock ‘n’ rollers about the same age as the old black blues men who were out doing it before they died. A lot of our peers have passed away, and we do not take it for granted. 



“But I'm gonna quote my good friend Pat Todd: ‘If I don't do this, I'm gonna die.’ “So, I'm gonna do this until the day I die,” concludes Molinare, firmly. 

The DoGs were formed by Lansing, Michigan high schoolers Molinare on guitar and vocals, Mary Kay on bass and vocals, and drummer Ron Wood (not the Faces/Rolling Stones guitarist) in 1968. Enamored of the bulletproof, industrial protopunk/hard rock of such celebrated elders The Stooges and MC5, The DoGs firmly built themselves in that tradition. They even debuted at the hallowed grounds of Russ Gibb’s Grande Ballroom on the night of Molinare’s 21st birthday, November 10, 1972. 

“And we got to play with the MC5,” exclaims the guitarist, 50 years later. “The only way we got the gig – and this was their second-to-last gig before they broke up – is if we let the MC5 use our Marshall backline and drum set. 

“So, I had Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith through one Marshall stack and Wayne Kramer on the other. And we got to share the dressing room. So that was a phenomenal gig, watching them. They were still amazing, even though they were on their last leg.” 

A few years later, they brought their unreconstructed Detroit rock ‘n’ roll to Los Angeles, just in time to help build the local punk scene. They formed an alliance with early power-poppers The Pop and future New Wave stars The Motels, presenting a united front that booked their own gigs and even published their own fanzine. 

“At that point in Hollywood, you couldn't get an original gig,” says Molinare. “So, we put on our own show, which Billboard covered. There were 400 people attending, and after that, The Whisky and the Starwood started booking original bands. 

“This was pre-punk. It was right at the edge of what they call the New Wave, I think. And it was cool because the diversity of The Motels, The Pop and The DoGs was the same as that early New York diversity, with Talking Heads, Ramones, and Dictators. That whole scene was just a lot of diversity, but it was still the same. It was a unified scene.” 

And with their streamlined Motor City overdrive, The DoGs provided an example to many of the bands crossing the stage of seminal LA punk basement The Masque of their roots in action – vital, alive and LOUD! Black Flag/Circle Jerks/OFF! singer Keith Morris has noted he and Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn were frequently in the audience at late ‘70s DoGs gigs. 

mary kay laurenMary Kay and Lauren.

“Yes, they were!” exclaims Molinare. “They were at a lot of shows, and they were a great inspiration to the corrupted youth of the South Bay/Hermosa Beach/Manhattan Beach scene. They were coming to the shows, and I was glad that we had some sort of influence on them once they put their bands together.” 

Notes Ogrodny, “While many underground r’n’r fans might know primal ‘70’s DoGs tracks like ‘Slash Your Face’ or ‘John Rock’ (featured on cult comps ‘Killed by Death’ and ‘Bloodstains Across California’, or the seminal DoGs retrospective album ‘Fed Up’), a lot fewer of them are probably aware that the band are still playing the club circuit after 50+ years and bringing the roof down wherever they play.

"A lot of bands may cite the Detroit high-energy bands of that era as an influence, but The DoGs were part of that scene and are the real deal.” 

Wood departed in 1980, moving on to Channel 3 and a number of other bands. Tony Matteucci stepped in and has remained the drumming DoG since. Over the years, all members have done other bands – Molinare most notably in Little Caesar and Cruzados, Matteucci and Molinare in a latter-day Hollywood-based lineup of Cleveland punk antiheroes Pagans. They even changed their name to Attack for a few mid-’80s releases. 

But The DoGs have endured, issuing several singles, the career-length retrospective “Fed Up!” on Dionysus reissue imprint Bacchus Archives, and 2003 full-length “Suburban Nightmare” via Dionysus proper. “Hypersensitive” was self-issued on The DoGs’ own Detroit Records in 2012. 

“The band had self-released it only on CD and sold it mostly at gigs, so it never reached a wider audience which is a crying shame,” says Ogrodny. 

"We wanted to give it the re-release treatment it deserved. It’s their strongest batch of tunes yet, with killer originals like ‘What Goes in Quiet Comes Out Loud’, ‘In On The Out’, and a new studio version of ‘Slash Your Face’ as well as a cover of The Pagans’ ‘Her Name Was Jane’.” 

“My wife was married to Brian Hudson, the drummer,” explains Molinare. “Mike Hudson, the singer of the Pagans, moved out here. We were playing it already in our shows, and I said, ‘Hey, we're going to record this one.’ He actually makes a cameo in the video.” 

There’s also ultimate documentation of two of the earliest DoGs originals. Detroit musical anthem “Motor City Fever”, with its name checks of inspirations ranging from various Motown acts to the MC5 and a thermonuclear lead guitar break from Molinare, stems from 1971. 

Hypersensitive lge

“‘Beatin' the Floor’ was the first original DoGs song I ever wrote in 1968,” adds Molinare. ”So, we did both of those on the album, because they never had seen the light of day before.” 

That these two archeological excavations sound of a piece with more contemporary tracks such as “What Goes In Quiet Comes Out Loud”, “You Can’t Catch Me”, or the working man frustration of tense opener “I Got Nothing” is a testament to the enduring quality of The DoGs’ songwriting and musical potency. 

“It's really great that these songs have seen the light of day,” says Molinare. “Because a lot of people didn't know it existed.” That is, until the YouTube channel Junkie Business uploaded the album, with clear, clean, hi-fi sound. 

“It's gotten almost 20,000 views, with a million comments!” exclaims Molinare. “Derrick from the label asked, ‘Are you aware of this?’ I said, ‘No.’ It's great to get that acceptance.” 

More acceptance is to come, with a forthcoming West Coast punk documentary being lensed by early LA blank generation sonic scientist Geza X, prominently featuring The DoGs. 

The DoGs: Coming soon to a theater – and a record store – near you. 

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