Hogbitch - Hogbitch (Dogfingers Recordings)

An alluring mix of styles that'll consume your very being...
Release Date: 
3 Feb 2014 - 11:30pm

Texan outfit Hogbitch purvey a beautifully pure take on seventies psyche metal that is totally faithful to the genre without ever sounding like a tribute or, worse still, a mere copyist conflation begging for your cash whilst offering nothing more original than some new artwork and some old – so very old – riffmongering. 

Vocalist Suzy Bravo is the first point of difference here, her  strong, clear, banshee call putting the band into a different territory to the bearded wailing usually equated with this kinda stuff; Her voice is a peach, equal parts icy metal queen and grubby, soulful belter, the mixture of the two being occasionally topped off with a punky snarl which, on the likes of the Mastodon-ish Hameh makes for a heady clash of sounds and colours. Think Christian Mistress had they grown up on a diet of surf guitar records and the Jefferson Airplane rather than Sabbath and Maiden and our brains are operating in the same postcode. It’s propulsive, progressive stuff and it’ll get your booty moving, make no mistake.

Elsewhere there’s more straightforward crunch to be had, as well as bluesy noodling and out and out psychedelic wigging out. When all three styles collide, as they do on the excellent, organ-propelled Never you’re faced with a pretty irresistible combination, and only one possible reaction – it’s surrender time.

Slaves of the Ether is more conventional in its approach to grandiose heaviosity, though it’s more prosaic attack doesn’t lessen the impact of Sanford Allen’s skull-cracking riffstorm assault; It’s Sabbathian for sure, but not annoyingly so, and when rhythm section Chip Alexander (drums) and bassist Patrick Macmaghnuis up the ante at the song’s back end you won’t be able to stop yourself from grinning wildly and punching the air as the song cranks up the hysteria levels, all the while shouting ‘HELL YEAH!’ in drooling approbation in answer to Bravo’s ‘you’re just slaves!’ parting shot.

Look, there’s very little under the metal sun these days that could be termed ‘new’, especially when the material in question takes most of it’s cues from the late sixties and early seventies; But when the music is attacked with the levels of commitment and fervour that Hogbitch demonstrate, it’s hard to deny just how good this ‘old’ music sounds. This is an essential purchase for all connoisseurs of the good stuff.