Fat Dog

WOOF. (Domino)

Contact Jessica Linker, Ahmad Asani about Fat Dog

One of the most exciting breakthrough bands of the past year, and with only two tracks out thus far, South London’s Fat Dog are now the creators of a brilliant and mind-bending debut record, WOOF., due for release on September 6th via Domino. Following an ecstatic run at this year’s SXSW, the band will return to North America for a fall tour, bringing their riotous live show to many cities for the first time (tickets on sale this Friday at 10am local time).


Led by frontman Joe Love (real name Joe Love), Fat Dog’s music is for letting go – a thrilling blend of electro-punk, snarling rock’n’roll, techno soundscapes, industrial-pop, and rave euphoria. The sound Fat Dog make, Love says, is screaming-into-a-pillow music. “I wanted to make something ridiculous because I was so bored,” he declares. “I don’t like sanitized music. Even this album is sanitized compared to what’s in my head. I thought it would sound more fucked up.” Produced by Love, James Ford and Jimmy Robertson and with influences including Bicep, I.R.O.K, Kamasi Washington, and the Russian experimental EDM group Little Big, WOOF. passes by in a flash.


Following two singles – “King of the Slugs” and “All The Same” – Fat Dog now unveil “Running”, a slice of unhinged, hook-heavy twisted trance. The video, directed by Stephen Agnew, hints to Ken Russell, Ingmar Bergman and Mandy whilst revealing the true origins of the cult of Fat Dog and their real leader.


In 2021, Love decided to form a group and take the demos he’d been making as a way to keep himself sane during lockdown out into the world.  There were two rules made: Fat Dog was going to be a healthy band who looked after themselves and there would be no saxophone presence in their music. Two simple edicts to live by, and two things long-since broken by the Brixton five-piece. “Yeah, it’s all gone out the window,” says Love.


In Chris Hughes (keyboards/synths), Ben Harris (bass), Johnny Hutchinson (drums) and Morgan Wallace (keyboards and, umm, saxophone), Love found like-minded mavericks to help bring the dream home. “A lot of music at the moment is very cerebral and people won’t dance to it,” says Hughes. “Our music is the polar opposite of thinking music.”


Hughes should know. He was a fan of the band, at that point making a name for themselves with a series of exhilarating and/or wonky shows across South London, before he was in the band. Those early gigs formed the bedrock of what Fat Dog were all about, seizing the moment, drinking too much with the moment, going home separately from the moment but making up with the moment again the next day.


It didn’t take long for the kennel-dwellers to come flocking; every Fat Dog show in London has become a huge upgrade on the last. There is something deeper going on here than the usual punter-goes-to-gig situation. Everyone is in on it. “There’s a sense of community about Fat Dog,” says Hutchinson. And it’s not just the UK who have been bitten; recently, the band completed their first shows in the US, including an all-conquering set at a taco joint (no lunches were harmed). They will tour the UK next month and in November as well as play a string of festivals in the UK and Europe this summer.


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