Kerbdog – Congregation

Kerbdog are without a doubt the finest metal band to ever emerge from Kilkenny in my native Ireland.

Formed in 1991, they signed to major label Vertigo Records (home, at various times, to Black Sabbath and Metallica – hmm, interesting split release potential there!). Alas, despite two great albums, success eluded the young band and they broke up in 1998.

However, music as good as they created should not remain unplayed and Kerbdog have since reformed, and this fine live album proves they still have the chops.

The band were initially described as a cross between Metallica and Alice in Chains, and in some respects this was true. They mixed alternative sounds that were popular at the time with hard-edged metal, as was heard to great effect on their single “End of Green.”

The name Kerbdog came from an American BMX bike team the band admired.

Over the years they often supported Therapy?. (Another outstanding band from the period, and another band that should have been much bigger. Alas, as John Carpenter memorably said: “The world is turned by unkind hands.”)

Kerbdog’s self-titled debut was produced by the legendary Jack Endino at Rockfield Studios in Wales in 1993. (Interestingly, Sepultura were also recording Chaos A.D. there).

After touring extensively, Kerbdog recorded a second album, On The Turn. But musical tastes had changed; vile nu-metal and pathetic Brit-Pop were all the rage and Kerbdog were dropped by Vertigo. Despite their best efforts, a new deal could not be found and Kerbdog reluctantly broke up.

But as the old saying goes, ‘What’s yours won’t pass you by,’ and eventually Kerbdog began playing together again to enthusiastic response.

Congregation is a sonic testament to this, featuring a fantastic set-list of Kerbdog classics as well as a new track, “Electricity,” which bodes well for their forthcoming and long-awaited third studio album.

Congregation is superbly played to a rabid crowd, and shows a band whose time is finally going to come!

(Pledge Music)

Steve Earles is author and co-author of numerous projects, including To End All Wars: The WWI Graphic Anthology, available summer 2014 (