Studio album by King's X
Released January 18, 1994
Genre Hard rock
Heavy metal
Length 59:16
Label Atlantic
Producer Brendan O'Brien
Professional reviews

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King's X chronology
King's X
Ear Candy

Dogman is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal/hard rock trio King's X. It marks the band's second album under Atlantic and their first to be produced by Brendan O'Brien,[1] who had just come off scoring big hits with Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and The Black Crowes. Dogman signaled a heavier direction for King's X and, with strong approval from both critics and fans, is often considered one of their best works.


Background and recording

According to frontman Doug Pinnick, while longtime King's X producer Sam Taylor had a big influence on the band's sound, he never captured the heaviness of their live performance in the studio. Taylor ended production duties with King's X after four albums together. When the high profile Brendan O'Brien approached King's X about creating an album together, the band enthusiastically accepted. Shortly prior to the start of Dogman, guitarist Ty Tabor had started transitioning over to Mesa Boogies and Marshall amplifiers. In the studio, Tabor and O'Brien spent little time tightening the guitar tone when recording which was also Tabor's first experience recording with new amps. He later entrusted the tweaking to O'Brien who "brightened them up a bit and made them a little more edgy sounding." Although, the band actually favored some of the demos over the final songs. These would later be released simply as Dogman Demos in 2005. [2]

Nevertheless, working with O'Brien was a satisfying experience for King's X. In 1999, Pinnick described "Black The Sky" as his new "standard to mix to" due to its "big and fat" sound comparable to the band's live performance. The track "Human Behavior" was also written and recorded with a 12-string guitar, a rare inclusion to the band's repertoire.[3]

Music and lyrics

Although their previous self-titled effort furthered dark themes and aggressive musicianship, Dogman marked a transitional point in the band's career with its considerably heavier sound than previous King's X records. In 1999, five years and two albums into the future, frontman Doug Pinnick reflected, "For me personally, the Dogman record is what King's X really sounds like. The self-titled record was a step and an eye-opener and after that we could just make our music."[4]

In correspondence with a beefier musical approach, Pinnick began writing lyrics that further expressed his building frustration over religion. While early King's X albums were commonly laced with Christian themes regarding belief and spirituality - mostly in an uplifting manner - Dogman takes a more open and disillusioned approach to religion, as noted by a now agnostic Pinnick in a 2006 interview:

". . .all of the records are always me questioning 'Is this really it?' because I grew up in a religious family all my life and I have always been going: something ain’t right here. So I have always sung about what I thought wasn’t right - my confusion and my disillusion with it. And then finally when Dogman came out I just spewed it all out. I was pissed at that point. Everybody was like: 'he’s not Christian anymore.' Everybody got freaked out."[5]

Touring and promotion

Dogman was supported with quite a few memorable performances opening for others, including a string of dates with Pearl Jam and the opening night of Woodstock '94. Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder played the song "Cigarettes" after a radio broadcast of a Pearl Jam performance on April 3, 1994 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta; Vedder was assuming the role of a DJ and played some of his favorite tunes.

Dogman was released with four color variations of the same cover: red, yellow, green, and blue.

The album's title track served as its primary single which had a music video. According to Doug Pinnick, "Dogman" received strong radio rotation in New York, and the band sold more records there than anywhere. However, the lack of a "major single release" hampered the album's commercial success.[3]

One particularly favorable concert in Dallas, Texas was filmed during the Dogman tour. It would be released in as a two-disc set entitled Live & Live Some More via Molken Music in 2007.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Pinnick, Tabor, Gaskill, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Dogman"   4:01
2. "Shoes"   3:29
3. "Pretend"   4:36
4. "Flies and Blue Skies"   5:00
5. "Black the Sky"   4:32
6. "Fool You"   4:31
7. "Don't Care"   4:39
8. "Sunshine Rain"   4:35
9. "Complain"   3:19
10. "Human Behavior"   4:28
11. "Cigarettes"   5:52
12. "Go to Hell"   0:51
13. "Pillow"   4:24
14. "Manic Depression" (Jimi Hendrix) 4:59

Recorded by Nick DiDia Mixed by Brendan O'Brien except "Manic Depression" mixed by Nick DiDia. Keyboards and percussion: Brendan O'Brien Recorded at Southern Tracks, Atlanta, GA. Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Studios, Portland ME Art Direction: Leon Alvarado Design: Leon Alvarado, Randy Rogers Photography: Catherine Wessel

Critical reception

Dogman gained critical praise upon its release. Chuck Eddy of Entertainment Weekly described the heavier sound as "less muddled than its attempts at Beatles-derived psychedelic pop" but showed slight unrest towards Pinnick's angst approach to lyrics. Giving a 4/5 star rating, Allmusic's Alex Henderson noted the varied styles despite the album's heaviness and that King's X "addresses spiritual concerns without trying to force its beliefs on anyone."


Year Publication Country Accolade Rank
1996 Visions Germany "The Eternal Readers Charts" 31 [6]
"*" denotes an unordered list.

Chart performance

Chart Peak
Swedish Album Chart 46 [7]
Swiss Album Chart 47 [8]
UK Albums Chart 49 [9]
U.S. Billboard 200 88 [10]

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1994 "Dogman" Mainstream Rock Tracks 20



  1. ^ According to music historian Brian Smith
  2. ^ Prato, Greg Interview with King's X Guitarist Ty Tabor Guitar Site (July 8, 2008). Retrieved on 1-16-11.
  3. ^ a b Doug Pinnick interview from March 1999 (March 1999). Retrieved on 1-16-11.
  4. ^ Kelter, Christopher J. FIFTEEN YEARS WITH KING'S X (March 1999). Retrieved on 1-16-11.
  5. ^ Interview with Doug Pinnick (2006). Retrieved on 1-16-11.
  6. ^ "Visions - The Eternal Readers Charts". Visions. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  7. ^ "King's X - Dogman". Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  8. ^ "King's X - Dogman". Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  9. ^ [1], UK charts page for King's X
  10. ^ "King's X album charts [albums]". Billboard. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 

External links

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