#915: ‘Beware The Dog’ – The Griswolds

I recall first hearing The Griswolds’ ‘Heart Of A Lion‘ back in 2012 and thinking how these guys were undoubtedly set to be one of the next big indie-pop acts in Australia. With their penchant for writing fun, seemingly-mindless indie pop tracks on the surface, they were basically set for success in indie circles. While that success did come for them, I started to respect a lot more after looking into their lyrics a lot closer, with the best example of this being ‘Beware The Dog’.

Again, on the surface, ‘Beware The Dog’ sounds like a brilliant pop song with hardly any depth. After all, look at the chorus, it mentions having fun and even says the words “you’re fucking crazy“! Oh my, that one’s surely going to be a popular one at festivals.

But look at the track a bit closer and you start to notice a jaded group speaking about prior drug experiences. It seems to be a topic that’s close to the band, and their way of hiding a deeper meaning behind a fun-sounding song definitely should be admired.

In an interview the group conducted ahead of their record’s release, one member of the group stated that the song was ” written about a friend of ours, and her slow descent into madness as her drug use got heavier and heavier, and the drug of choice became much more intense over time. Years of trying to help her resulted in nothing but hatred and sadness, and eventually she burnt every friend she had and tried to blame everyone else. Beware the Dog is kind of a way for us to remember that there were better days between us all. We loved those days.”

It’s sort of hard to sing along to a song that was written about such a tragic event, but damn it, people still do, and you can hardly blame them, because the song hides its tragedy well.


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