Another year comes to a close and that means lists. I never really get excited when the prospect comes around because a list is never as complete as you’d want it to be. In a way, it’s a moments recollection of all the good music that came by in the past year. Still, it’s important to look back and share with the world what it might have missed otherwise.
I can mention a load of bands I would gladly have included here. For example, I didn’t really get around to listen properly to Enslaved and Converge’s new records and I had to chose to omit the likes of Power Trip, Akercocke, and Pillorian. Oh, and Dool came to me in a big way. Well, you can’t have it all, but here is the list as it is:
- Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Ceasar
- Amenra – Mass VI
- Jupiterian – Terraforming
- Au-Dessus – End of Chapter
- Elder – Reflections of a Floating World
- Vulture Industries – Stranger Times
- Fief – III
- King of Asgard – :taudr:
- Al Namrood – Enkar
- Eschatos – MÆRE
- Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Finisterre
- Ragana – You Take Nothing
- Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
- Spaceslug – Mountains & Reminisce
- Grima – Tales of the Enchanted Wood
- Myrkur – Mareridt
- Hair of the Dog – This World Turns
- Botanist – Collective: The Shape of He to Come
- Cyaxares – House of the Cosmic Waters
- Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial
I would also like to express thanks to the labels that have kindly supplied me with promo materials and support for realizing my goals. In particular thanks to Transcending Obscurity and Qabar Extreme Music PR. Also, thanks to Echoes & Dust for lending weight to my 195 bands project, by publishing these interviews.
May 2018 be a great year in music again. Live long and prosper.
Band: Hair of the Dog
During Roadburn, you sometimes just wander into a place to see a band you didn’t know before. So I stumbled into Extase. It was very late and little people were there, but the band on stage was bare chested and completely rocking out, pushing out the most glorious hard rock sounds. I was sold at that moment to the charm of Scottish rockers Hair of the Dog. They simply rocked with raw passion.
This is the third full length of the Scottish trio from Edinburgh. Clearly getting more groove and intensity to their sound as they go. I guess the skateboarding connection also has something to do with it, because they are on a roll (pun intended)! The laid back flow and catchiness of the music is great and it is a complete pleasure to hear their tunes.
What I enjoy about Hair of the Dog is that they make essential, bare chested, ballsy rock music. Sure, when the title track launches you immediately detect the stoner and sludge influences. The group reshaped it backward in rock history to the classic hard rock vibe and feel of Led Zeppelin and Mountain. My favorite tune of the Scots is ‘Keeping Watch over the Night’, where singer and guitar player Adam Holt is truly capturing hearts in minds with his passionate delivery and the all over hugeness of the sound. What a trip!
‘Ctrl-Alt-Delete’ takes us in a way different direction. While it holds it’s bluesy progression, the vocals are much more crooning and hold a completely different vibe. It’s remarkable how the threesome makes music that feels simple and direct, but also holds a big stadium vibe. Clean and poppy enough for your mom to enjoy, but rough enough to still make you feel cool while driving. Every note is spun out and used for it’s maximal potential, to create that wall of sound that makes them so strong sounding. For example, on ‘In Death’s Hands’ the music seems to just drift along and the notes just flow out.
On ‘4AM’ the boys show us they have quite a bit of soul as well. On the track they pour out their hearts and even the bass and drums ooze passion and feeling. This band takes it back to its essence and all I can say is that they’re simply amazing. Hair of the Dog makes me want to puff my chest, pump my fists and gently wave a lighter (yes, smartphones then) around, all in the span of one album. That makes them awesome.