THEY SAY that every dog has its day. Well, Andy Curran has his dog.

Her name is Sophie, and he says she's a "mixture of everything" -- a curly-tailed Black lab whose genetic heritage also borrows from the collie and akita families. Four years old (that's 28 in equivalent dog years), and possessor of one of the most electrifying barks to ever grace an answering machine, Sophie holds an even more endearing significance to her owner.

"Sophie was right by my side when I wrote every one of these tracks on my new solo album," said the founding former member of Coney Hatch, talking about his first album for Alert Records, entitled, oddly enough, Andy Curran.

"She's generally a big fan of ballsy rock, "says Curran, 29 (that's 203 in equivalent dog years).

"I remember putting down a particular vocal part that literally had the cats running out of the studio. But Sophie stood her ground. She's a real trooper."

Ten tracks of relentless, rambunctious rock 'n roll that drives with dogged determination, Curran's first album since he split from Toronto beat 'n brew institution Coney Hatch howls like a hound unleashed.

Kickstarted by Licence To Love, the opening track and first single, the album is stirred with a spoonful of T. Rex sass and Rolling Stone sleaze, and spruced up with a sardonic seasoning of Motley Crue. The accomplished bassist/songwriter makes no bones about his intentions behind these ten tracks of tuneful T.N.T.

"I wanted to keep it raw and guitar-oriented," explains Curran, whose credentials as a writer helped generate a gold album for Coney Hatch and the classic tune Monkey Bars.

"Rock 'n' roll should be fun, and not take itself too seriously. You should be able to have a little chuckle, too."

Co-produced by Curran with newcomer Bill Petrie, and recorded at Mississauga's Metalworks and Oshawa's Quest Studios, his self-titled debut employs an experienced tag-team of six-string specialists.

"I call them my `guitarsenal'," laughs Curran. "There's Tim Broyd -- who's an original Coney Hatcher even before we signed out contract -- and Simon Brierley -- who's played with Lee Aaron and The Partland Brothers. Then there are a couple of Americans -- Phil Brown and Alexander Kane.

"Although I consciously tried to be more bluesy, I wanted the guitars in everyone's face."

Curran also credits drummer Glenn Milchem for divine musical inspiration.

"I can't say enough about Glenn," comments Curran. "He's the lifeblood of the album."

Andy Curran also feels pretty lucky at nabbing Alex Haas for mixing duties at New York's Power Station, and Toronto's Phase One Studios.

"Alex is pretty hot," says Curran. "He mixed Billy Squier's last album, and he's received his tutelage from the team of Steve Barbiero and Michael Thompson."

From the psychedelic edge of Moonbeam to the goodtime vibe of I Got This Feelin', Andy Curran proves to be a composer with a gift for addiction -- both in melody and in prose.

He tackles various beasts of social burden like alcohol abuse during Whiskey & The Devil, and empty, echoing wallets in Nickels & Dimes -- and allows pause for reflection without the evangelical overtones.

Then there's the first single, Licence To Love, which describes the ups and down, ins and outs of love between two people. It draws the conclusion that sometimes love is a bitch.

"Licence To Love is almost autobiographical," says Curran. "It's about a relationship that turned sour. In fact, one of the best things I got out of that relationship was this song."

I Got This Feelin' "is about two people exploring their animal passion in the back seat of a Chevy," while the introspective ballad Let Go, "is a comment about listening to your inner voice and following your basic instincts."

No Tattoos is a lighthearted romp inspired by Andy's mother.

"I was joking around with my Mom about getting a tattoo, and she went on for hours about being heartbroken if I decided to get it done," says Curran.

As for the fateful decision he made on the topic, Curran says "I just hope my Mom isn't reading this."

But Andy's mother will be listening to the radio, where she can share her son's music with the rest of Canada. The album Andy Curran carries an unforgettable attitude, a pet projecdt that will quickly become the listener's best friend.

And like the tail-wagging Sophie's frequent entanglements with the mailman, Andy Curran's debut album will leave lasting impressions with both its bark and its bite.





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