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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hounds Tooth

Hounds Tooth

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This recording doesn’t create a new sound, and for that we’re thankful—especially at a time when so much music goes to extremes for its own sake, but forgets about the basics. The debut by Milwaukee’s Hounds Tooth is an exciting recording with a sensibility that should be heeded by many bands trying to push the edge.

It’s simply honest music that never becomes overwrought. Tunes by John Lee Hooker (“Boom Boom”) and Amos Blackmore (“Little By Little”) receive earnest attention. The seven original songs are competent though the lyrics drop into tedium, taking down what otherwise would be exquisite writing because the music flies so high. But, it has to be noted, we are in a tradition where lyrics are not the point anymore. It’s the feeling of them that matters. And there’s plenty of feeling no matter how many times we’ve heard the themes.

Steve Cohen’s production is outstanding for its organic qualities, making each song come alive. Jamie Brace’s voice is gutsy and melodic without sacrificing grit. The guitars come through like a buzz-cut dream. Hounds Tooth is a band that always has a reference point in the blues. They also know how to hear an old idiom with a new ear.
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