The Porcelain Throne: Dog Fashion Disco


On this additional edition, we have a submission of some suspicion from Poseur Disposeur that is no snoozer unless you’re a loser. I’ll stop now. Check this shit out:

Dog Fashion Disco is one of the all-time elite bands. I recognize that this is a controversial statement, but it stands up to close scrutiny. They are largely unclassifiable, freakishly talented, and gloriously bizarre. DFD were at their peak in the dying days of nu metal, but they have little in common with the genre besides their accessibility. They broke up at the height of their creative output, and have remained a strange footnote in the history of metal ever since. Internet nerds deride DFD to the point of emesis as ripping off Mr. Bungle, and the influence is obvious in the band’s numerous genre and style changes within their songs. Dog Fashion Disco’s music is much more linear and accessible than Bungle, but their weird mash of styles gets across the same schizophrenic confusion that makes Bungle one of the sickest bands of all time. They couple this with a bizarre sense of humor that is too wacky to be disturbing but too dark to really be funny. They are metal for children who go to the circus in the vain hope that they will see someone devoured by lions. They are the metal band equivalent of that movie Balada Triste de Trumpeta.  They are unjustifiably obscure despite having such obvious commercial appeal, largely because their style is an utter mockery of metal and everything it stands for.

I know essentially nothing about Dog Fashion Disco’s biography or anything about the members. I live very far from any city with any kind of musical culture. Outside of my circle of friends, I really have no idea what DFD means to the metal culture at large or if they have any significant following out there in the real world. I now demand that any readers who are pathetically ignorant of the musical legacy of one of metal’s most underrated bands immerse themselves into the comic lunacy that is Dog Fashion Disco.

Erotic Massage, Experiments in Alchemy, This Embryo’s in Bloom (1997-1998)

Their first couple of albums contain only a little to anticipate the group’s more metallic future sound. The band’s debut Erotic Massage is actually just unconventional, eclectic rock. As the albums progress, the sound becomes more aggressive and metal focused. Many of their early material was subsequently re-recorded in higher quality on future albums, so early Dog Fashion Disco is non-essential but highly entertaining listening. At first they sound like they could have turned out to be a slightly heavier Reel Big Fish. The song “Wait” from Erotic Massage is like what would happen if college rock bands were aping Steely Dan instead of Weezer. “Siddhis”, from Experiments in Alchemy, could totally be a radio rock hit in some alternate universe.

Anarchists of Good Taste, Committed to a Bright Future (2001-2003)

These two albums encapsulate what I consider to be the canonical Dog Fashion Disco sound. They are wacky, eclectic, and heavy. The lyrics are an unsettling orgy of cartoon violence from the urethra of Hell. The tunes are hooky as fuck and built around massive sing-alongs that erupt from the slime of the band’s truly deranged vibe. A huge part of Dog Fashion Disco’s appeal is their goofy, morbid lyrics about the body’s many wonderful and revolting fluids. Picking standout tracks from these albums is a fruitless endeavor, and I highly recommend everyone give them a complete listen. Though it is not exactly the best of their songs from this period, I submit for your consideration the track “Dr. Piranha” from Committed to a Bright Future, largely because the opening lyric and album cover should appeal to you people:

The Exotic Sounds of the Alter Boys (2005)

No story of Dog Fashion Disco can be complete without mentioning the Alter Boys. The Alter Boys were a one-off side-project featuring members of Dog Fashion Disco, the tough guy singer from Mushroomhead and the late Ryan Dunn of Jackass (plus a bunch of other guys). It was released to little fanfare and made no impact on anyone who wasn’t simultaneously a die-hard fan of Mushroomhead, DFD and Jackass (I was). I don’t know if this stuff appeals only to me, but their only album is one of my favorite musical recordings ever produced. It is a mix of ballads, funk, surf rock, metal, jazz and a righteous Tom Waits cover. They are so forgotten and inconsequential that only five of their songs are on youtube. Their best track exists only as a custom Guitar Hero playthrough video from 2007, with just a hair over 3,000 views. Check it out:

Adultery (2006)

The final album of Dog Fashion Disco’s original run is the strangest in the catalogue. This album carries the most Mr. Bungle influence, and is a narrative concept album describing adultery and its violent aftermath. Though it does not rock as hard as the previous two releases, it is very ambitious and original in both its music and overall presentation. Every song sounds different, and there are only a couple tracks that really carry the definitive DFD sound from the last two albums. To represent this album, I would have given you the song “Desert Grave”, which sounds like the singer was simultaneously possessed by the restless spirits of both Johnny Cash and John Hinckley Jr. Unfortunately, the album version isn’t on Youtube yet, so enjoy “Moonlight City Drive” or, as this youtube person has labelled it “DOG FASHION DISCO-FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS”:

(Writing this article has made me realize that I am going to have to upload a lot of DFD music to Youtube. I didn’t know they were THAT obscure.)

Sweet Nothings (2014)

Much to my surprise, Dog Fashion Disco returned to glorious form with 2014’s Sweet Nothings album. The same old sound we love so damn much. Buy it. Buy it twice. Disco is back in style fools! Dat ASS THO!!!

(Editor Note: Video is NSFW)

I sincerely hope that this brief introduction inspires more people the way that Dog Fashion Disco has inspired me for so many years.

Thanks to Poseur Disposeur for this wacky and groovy submission, and as always, if you want to take a turn check out The Official Porcelain Throne Guidelines.

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