Best Of

Best hardcore band led by dogs


While metal bands pathetically imitate growling animals, Brooklyn’s Caninus went to the source, skipping the humans and working with another species. Female pooches (not “bitches,” please) were recruited, originally adopted from local shelters. Vocals come from eight-year-old Budgie (part pit bull, part Chow Chow) and six-year-old Basil (part pit bull, part greyhound), who “sing” by chewing rawhide bones. The “lyrics” are interpreted by the band’s human component, who write the words from the dogs’ viewpoint. Since getting the doggies to vocalize on cue isn’t easy, the band rarely does live gigs. For their records, they collect tapes of the vocal sessions and insert the singing into the backing music at the right moments. With a fan base that includes Andrew W.K. and Susan Sarandon, you have to wonder how a pair of divas like Basil and Budgie get along. Guitarist (and owner) Belle Molotov insists that they play around occasionally but don’t fight (which is more than you can say for their human counterparts), even with the recent addition of Dollywood (a two-year-old pit bull) as the third singer. And hold the calls to the ASPCA—sales profits go into food, treats, and toys for the singers (which is more generous than most record deals).