A Giant Dog - "Sex & Drugs" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

8 March 2016

This is one delicious little masterpiece, from the overdrive-drenched bass that kicks things off to the giddy two-pronged vocal belting.

Chris Ingalls: The propulsive, hook-laden glam rock sound that forces its way through the less than two and a half minutes of this song give it an almost cartoonish feel, but make no mistake—this is one delicious little masterpiece, from the overdrive-drenched bass that kicks things off to the giddy two-pronged vocal belting. It’s like Queen got lost in the East VIllage in 1976 and ended up doing an impromptu set at CBGB. Fun video, too. [9/10]

Pryor Stroud: To utter just “Sex & Drugs” is to utter a call-to-arms with an amputated appendage. Yet, once uttered, it’s impossible not to think about what is missing from the phrase, the phantom limb that craves reattachment to its origin-socket and source-body. A Giant Dog’s “Sex & Drug” foregrounds this phantom limb and ascribes to it a vicious substantiality, which is to say, this is a rock ‘n’ roll song through and through, propulsive, jubilant, and impishly energetic. With thrashing guitar work and a Jerry Lee Lewis-indebted chord-pounding backbeat, it’s a track that tramples pretense and rides high on its own primitivist simplicity. The wailed-into-existence chorus lyric—“I’m too old to die young / I can’t even remember being young”—isn’t so much a resignation to age as it is a roaring panegyric for youth: this is Diane Young from Vampire Weekend’s song of the same name, but she’s older now and reflective, ready—microphone pressed to her incisors—to tell her side of the story. [7/10]

Emmanuel Elone: Although the title of this song might seem generic, this song is anything but unoriginal. A Giant Dog makes hard-hitting garage rock with a sprinkle of blues and pop sensibilities thrown in for good measure. At just over two minutes, “Sex & Drugs” doesn’t overstay its welcome. The heavy piano-driven tune come in strong, gets even more powerful, and leaves in an explosion of noise. From the vocals to the instrumentation to the passion, A Giant Dog managed to make an excellent rock song, as accessible as it is insane. [8/10]

Chad Miller: A really cool song with interesting lyrics. With twinkling keyboards and rock vocals to assist the beautiful melody, “Sex and Drugs” is a whole lot of fun. And there’s a cool relationship with the song’s premise of age and the childish vocals. [8/10]

A Giant Dog‘s new album Pile releases May 6th via Merge Records.

SCORE: 8.00

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