Let Man Loose explores the thin line between patriotism and bigotry and pokes fun at the latter in their powerful and topical new track Bulldog.

Hailing from Hull, rock band Let Man Loose’s last release was Two Way Glass back in 2019, a track that gained quite a bit of attention from radio DJs Steve Lamacq and John Kennedy. Now, the band are back and they’ve brought along their brand new single Bulldog: a satirical commentary about walking the thin line between patriotism and bigotry, and poking fun at those who fall closer to the latter. It sounds topical, political, and I already like the sound of it.

As Bulldog gets going I’m reminded immediately of the powerful guitars that run through their music, I heard it in Two Way Glass, and I hear it in this as well. It’s banging and loud and completely relentless in the best possible way; the energy is high from beginning to end with barely a pause for breath. Over the top of all of this is the drawling, almost growling vocals that somehow manage to keep up with the pace of the guitars, bass line, and drums. Instead of getting lost in amongst all of the other powerful elements, it brings them all together.

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There’s plenty of symbolism to be found in the lyrics, but the importance of the title is not to be missed either. Bulldogs are a famously English breed, their symbolism reaching its peak during WWII when they came to represent courage and tenacity, Winston Churchill even garnered the nickname ‘the British Bulldog’ for his determination. They’ve also been used as symbols of racism and imperialism, and I think their meaning in this track is best summed up by the single’s cover art – a can of dog food with the words “Pure Breed” stamped across it. And that’s what I think the Bulldog represents in this song, the people who see themselves as better because of where they were born, and snarl at anything different to themselves.

A couple of my favourite lines are “he howls and he howls, try and reason with him and it falls on deaf ears” which seems to sum up the infuriating reality of trying to argue with someone who refuses to see any other point but their own. The type of person who thinks that the louder they, are the more right it makes them. “He insists on getting everywhere powered by steam” also strikes me, representing those people who are stuck in their old ways even though there are newer, much better ways to go about things.

It’s never the wrong time for a bit of playful political commentary, and I love the way it’s been wrapped up so neatly in Bulldog. Let Man Loose poke fun of the people who are resistant to change and fuelled by hatred, and who doesn’t need that at the moment? The new year promises to see the release of the band’s third EP, and I for one, can’t wait.

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Celia Moon

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