albums › Mighty Joe Plum's The Happiest Dogs
Mighty Joe Plum The Happiest Dogs album cover
The Happiest Dogs plural, right?

Track Listing

  1. Irish
  2. Bring
  3. Live Through This (Fifteen Stories)
  4. Borderline
  5. I Fell In
  6. Friendly Advice
  7. Too True
  8. Miss Hollywood
  9. Stupid
  10. Go Now
  11. Sweet Orange Marmalade
  12. Lumberjack
  13. Please (Hear Me)

Rating: 4.75/10

Tampa, FL gave us Mighty Joe Plum, who in-turn gave us a great rock tune in Live Through This (Fifteen Stories).

Mighty Joe Plum The Happiest Dogs Rock Alternative

What if I fell fifteen stories? is one of those in-lyric questions that actually gets answered in the song Live Through This (Fifteen Stories). The answer is, "Maybe I could live through this."

Mighty Joe Plum The Happiest Dogs album cover
The Happiest Dogs plural, right?

Track Listing

  1. Irish
  2. Bring
  3. Live Through This (Fifteen Stories)
  4. Borderline
  5. I Fell In
  6. Friendly Advice
  7. Too True
  8. Miss Hollywood
  9. Stupid
  10. Go Now
  11. Sweet Orange Marmalade
  12. Lumberjack
  13. Please (Hear Me)

The Happiest Dogs ... Great for a garage band. Good for a college rock town. Decent for a major city scene. Not enough to lead a major tour. No chance to build a career.

Mighty Joe Plum feels like your college buddies who wanted to start a band freshmen year, but didn't know how to play instruments. They worked at it all four years, practicing, playing out, and finally recording. The Happiest Dogs is the result. You're happy for them, but you realize that they fell short of the dream. Then you hear Live Through This.

Where is Chalk Farm and My Friend Steve when you need them?

The Happiest Dogs song notes

Irish

Irish is lighter fare, as far as alternative goes. Irish sports a junior varsity guitar solo. Not as energetic as I would expect for a rock album's opening track.

Bring

Decent opening riff. That's Bring.

Live Through This (Fifteen Stories)

That single drum beat has always haunted me.

An excellent rock song, Live Through This is. Originally appearing on self-released EP Aardvark, the song occupies the coveted album third track. Like in baseball, the third track is reserved for the best of the album, usually. And so it is on The Happiest Dogs.

Live Through This was the 5th track on WAAF's Royal Flush album, released in 1997. The mid-to-late 90s saw the Boston radio station release a couple of albums with a mix of on-air live performances and personality bits. 90s alternative bands, such as Everclear, Our Lady Peace, The Nixons, Goo Goo Dolls, The Refreshments, and more graced these two fine albums, the first of which was 1996's Unusual Suspects.

Here is a version pulled from the AAF Archives.

Borderline

Borderline. Borderline. Got a really fun bass line. Borderline!

I don't wanna be the one to be the one the one to be the friend. Cause that's the friendzone.

Another AAF Archive video, this time for Borderline. Filmed at a Guitar Center near Boston, MA apparently.

Mighty Joe Plum gets into some One Fell Swoop / Dispatch territory towards the latter half of Borderline. I'm halfway home!

I Fell In

I Fell In falls into a spoken word / Shawn Mullins thing, but without all of the commercial success.

Friendly Advice

Friendly Advice gets dark in places.

Too True

Kind of a snoozefest. I don't even really want to get into Too True too much.

Miss Hollywood

Miss Hollywood goes from SRV Pride and Joy to a too fast Radiohead High and Dry in just a couple of bars, before dialing back a bit and finding it's inner-alt Tom Petty verse.

Miss Hollywood you may be, but you do not belong on the Sunset Strip, Miss Hollywood. One of the more inspired tracks on The Happiest Dogs. Actually a song worth re-listening.

I really like how the outro'd the song. The slow minute plus fade was a nice touch.

Stupid

Stupid isn't memorable, outside of some interesting mid song guitar work. Maybe that was a guitar solo? I'm unsure.

Go Now

Love the stick-only intro from the drummer. Go Now follows the predictable insert-guitar-solo-after-second-chorus pattern. That's not interesting. What is interesting is that Mighty Joe Plum gets to that second chorus sooner than the midpoint of the song often. These slow musical fades artificially extend the length of these songs.

Sweet Orange Marmalade

Swirling underwater sounds. Good alt-rock music providing the foundation of the chorus.

Not sure I've ever heard a song reference Marmalade, let alone Sweet Orange Marmalade before.

Lumberjack

Good wah rock riff intro. Upbeat. Lumberjack definitely sounds like 1997.

Please (Hear Me)

90s acoustic ender. A pleading plead if I've ever heard one. I hear you, and I am not that impressed Mr. Plum.

The ending of the tune isn't that bad. I guess they had to build to it. I get that. But, the first half drags the latter down too much.