Dog Detachment
Best Kept Secrets

Compilation 1981 to 1989

album cover

Tracks:

  1. Secrets
  2. White Flag
  3. Touch The Sky
  4. Waiting (For A Miracle)
  5. The Last Laugh
  6. Barriers
  7. Heartwheels & Mindmills
  8. Subhuman
  9. Black Hole
  10. Blind Mice
  11. Straightjacket
  12. Young Days
  13. Memories Of The Future
  14. Envoy From Planet III
  15. Third World War
  16. Love Will Come

    Bonus MP3s included on CD (playable on a computer)

  17. Machines
  18. Battle's Cry
  19. War March Of The Priests
  20. Civilised Zombie
  21. What Spring Might Bring
  22. It Never Rains
  23. Monochrome Man
  24. Moonrocker

Musicians:

  • Brian Armstrong: vocals, guitar
  • Mike Adams: keyboards, rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Terry Armstrong: bass, vocals
  • Alan Armstrong: drums, percussion

Release information:

August 2001, RetroFresh, freshcd115

Buy Dog Detachment CDs from Fresh Music

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Review:

I recently saw a play in London called 'Lloyd Cole Knew My Father'. It featured 3 ex-NME writers reminiscing about their days at the paper. One of them, David Quantick tells of how, before becoming a journalist he wrote a letter to the NME and ended with the sentence 'Bob Seger is not enough!!'

Before I became a regular contributor to the SA Rock Digest a "letter" of mine was published that began 'Has the record company executive who has omitted to release the entire Dog Detachment back catalogue on CD been imprisoned yet for his crime against humanity?'

I'm not quite sure who's comments are more embarrassing and neither am I sure whether David Quantick got more than Bob Seger, but today I got my wish as 'Best Kept Secrets', the Dog Detachment retrospective from Retro Fresh, landed in my postbox.

The CD contains 16 tracks and 8 MP3s drawn from all 3 of the group's albums, and 3 non-album tracks ('Young Days', 'Third World War', and 'Machines') from singles released by the band. You can access the MP3s, as well as some lyrics and pictures through webpages that are on the disc. These correspond with the online pages at http://www.dogdetachment.co.za.

For fans, this is a must have. Available on CD for the first time and digitally remastered, it's great to hear the tunes again, but crisp, clean and free of the snap, crackle and pop that dogged (no pun intended) vinyl releases. Full marks to Benjy Mudie and Retro Fresh for the work done in restoring these tracks.

The tracks are not chronological which means you can swing from the angry, angst-filled punk of tracks from 'The Last Laugh' to the darker, more brooding songs from 'Fathoms of Fire' to the more world wise and prophetic offerings from 'Barriers' then back to the spiky punk of the single 'Third World War'. Despite this, you are always treated to hard rocking, hard hitting but, and this is the bit that set them apart from the others, always melodic tunes.

Those of you that missed out on the Dogs the first time around, here's your chance to see what the fuss was all about and experience first hand one of the the greatest SA bands, probably of all time, certainly of the 80s. For ardent fans, it's a chance to at last replace worn out records and tapes.

It's easy to listen to this with a dog (especially if you've got one as a pet), but I challenge you to listen to this with a sense of detachment. This, like their 3 albums, draws you into the dark, apocalyptic, punk rocking world of Stormtrooper Pop that was Dog Detachment.
-- John Samson, August 2001

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