The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance are solely responsible for monitoring any exportation or importation of media in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This includes phonographic discs, tapes, CD’s, written publications, films, pictures, paintings, etc. However, there does in fact exist some sort of musical export from Iran and The Yellow Dogs fall into that category even if their denunciation by the Ministry of Culture in Iran brandished their musical efforts illegal in their own home country. The group gained exposure in Bahman Ghobadi’s 2009 film No One Knows About Persian Cats, a documentary exploring Iran’s illegal underground rock scene. The band would play shows in underground venues with lookouts ready to warn others. In some instances, the lookouts were ready with a stack of cash to bribe the cops. Restrained to the underbelly of Tehran, Iran, the group teamed up with local band The Free Keys and began establishing a rock venue in Tehran, a haven for the underground music scene.
“It was an illegal venue, anything illegal was legal there: A dance floor, no veils, smoking pot, booze, whatever you wanted.”
Flash forward to Williamsburg, Brooklyn USA 2009 and the group are writing and recording their first EP In The Kennel in a squalid 4th story loft entitled “Hazy Kennel.” The Yellow Dogs were able to freely express themselves away from the restraints of a repressive republic. They slowly built up a fan base by word of mouth and began playing shows on rooftops, basements, living rooms, and lofts. Word of the band from Iran spread through the burrows of Brooklyn’s post-punk scene. In May of 2012, the band released their second EP Upper Class Complexity via NeverHeard Inc earning them greater recognition. There is something entirely different with the sounds of The Yellow Dogs compared to their predecessors who pioneered the post-punk genre. The group ushers in resemblances from their influences ranging from Joy Division to Gang Of Four but also bring in their own unique psychedelic dance-rock approach. Obash’s vocals and guitar carry a riotous and liberating feel while Koory and Looloosh construct the synth-punk and dance rhythms. The fact that The Yellow Dogs have conquered the constraints on artistic expression makes every listen so much more satisfactory. The band have already accomplished a great deal for such a relative youth so it will be interesting to see what the future holds for The Yellow Dogs.
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