Often times, when a veteran classic rock band tries to keep pace with the young pups and attempts a "stylistic makeover," it spells disaster. Thankfully, rowdy Scottish rockers Nazareth know exactly what their fans want on their 22nd album overall, 2011's Big Dogz. In other words, you get a healthy helping of unapologetic, in-your-face, amped-up blues-rock. Singer Dan McCafferty still possesses the most whiskey-soaked voice this side of Bon Scott and Brian Johnson, while musically, it's not all about plowing full-steam ahead. In fact, you have to give the lads some credit on such tracks as "Big Dog's Gonna Howl," "Time and Tide," and "Butterfly," as quite a lot of restraint is utilized to great effect. But let's face it, when most rock fans pick up a Nazareth album, they're not looking for dainty ditties, and the lads don't disappoint with such swaggering standouts as "Claimed," "Lifeboat," and "Watch Your Back." Not all of the tracks are winners (the clichéd lyrics of "Radio" result in a bit of a clunker), but this late in the game, for Nazareth to still be capable of penning rockers comparable to their earlier work is certainly an accomplishment. And that's exactly what McCafferty and company offer up bit time with Big Dogz.
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