When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Red Rose Gang for a mysterious journal
that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old
disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for
answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms,
and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as
Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the
truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart
so full of hate. In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.
Ah, 1994. Across the road from the hideous brown office tower known as the IPC Building, home to the music magazines NME and Melody Maker, and where I would often go for meetings at the time (I was in my second ‘badly-paid job in advertising’ to paraphrase Neil Hannon), I spotted the words DOG MAN STAR sprayed in black on a nearby wall.
Was it really necessary? Because Dog Man Star, in all its battered and defeated and resilient glory, is a huge step beyond its forerunner Suede (which, though great itself, was a mish-mash of singles-material songs and… others, bringing to mind another eponymous debut album, namely The Smiths).
We Are The Pigs is the stand-out track, but the atmospherics of so much of the rest of the album give it a really troublesomely empty feel - in a good way - like a lot of early 1970s British films. It’s a slow-motion version of A Clockwork Orange.