Saqqara Dogs

  • Saqqara Dogs
  • World Crunch EP (Pathfinder) 1986 
  • Thirst (Pathfinder) 1987 
  • Bond Bergland
  • Unearth (Pathfinder) 1986 

The Saqqara Dogs’ effective drug-trance music combines onetime Factrix leader Bond Bergland’s Pink Floydish psychedelic guitars with Hearn Gadbois’ Middle Eastern and Indian drumming and Sync66’s (aka Chris Cunningham, ex-James White and the Blacks) Chapman Stick manipulations (as well as guitar, other bass, cello and organ). I find it happily reminiscent of Manchester ethno-cultists the Suns of Arqa; perhaps the two tribes are distantly related.

The nine-minute “Greenwich Mean Time” highlights the four-track World Crunch. Thirst contains richly textured alien soundtracks with such pagan titles as “Gregorian Stomp,” “Grave of Love” and “Splatter Dance.” The record is marred only by a couple of Bergland vocals (typical lyrics: “Bye bye black sheep/Sacrificial lamb steak, terminated/Landscapegoat”).

Bergland’s solo LP, Unearth (recorded in 1985, prior to the band’s formation), unfortunately contains more of the same. Gadbois’ ritualistic drumming is eliminated in favor of more atmospherically inclined guitars and electronic percussion. Not awful, just not as swell as the Dogs.

[Richard Gehr]