Return Of The Gaucho

Written by: PP on 24/12/2010 06:18:17

The Danish rock scene is currently undergoing somewhat of a resurrection and/or revitalization, depending on your point of view on its state in the past. After being more or less dead for the majority of the previous decade, the last couple of years have seen new, awesome bands popping up like flowers in the spring, if I were to use a cliché-ridden expression. Think bands like Bullet Train Blast, Black City, Highway Child, etc, which is why I opted to use such an expression, because honestly, there's nothing new under the sun in what Powderhog are doing on their sophomore album "Return Of The Gaucho".

However, that need not to be a bad thing as such, because if there's one genre where "don't fix it if it isn't broken" applies as a solid rule of thumb, it'd be in guitar-laden, classic rock'n'roll. What's worked for more than three decades is bound to work today, tomorrow, next year, and in 2040 no doubt, because there's always demand for ass-kicking, hard-hitting modern hard rock bands that spill heavily over with attitude-fueled scratchy vocals during anthemic choruses. Just look at the success of bands like Nickelback, Audioslave, and Soundgarden, all from different eras of the last two decades.

And like the other Danish bands I've mentioned earlier, Powderhog, too, draw heavily from the influence of especially the latter two bands. "Return Of The Gaucho" therefore portrays the classic rock sound which is drowned in rock star attitude, larger-than-life solos and riffs, with a clear-cut focus on stadium-penetrating anthems. Sounds familiar? Perhaps you read my review the Black City debut recently, of which "Return Of The Gaucho" is essentially a carbon-copy of, except with less radio-friendly choruses and focus on riffs instead of catchy choruses. That, however, doesn't prevent their vocalist Johnny Houmark from delivering some awesome scratchy, smoked vocals in the vein of any classic hard rock vocalist you might have heard of. There's just something instantly likable about hearing prolonged vocal screams that end up in "yeaaaaahhh"'s and "woooaaaahh"'s at every opportune moment.

Now, I do think that the Black City album was slightly better than Powderhog's. But not by a long shot. Songs like "Choke", "Ghosts" and others drill through your brain leaving a lasting mark, which is always required from a rock album. It needs to be harsh and full of attitude, but not to the extent of the songs lacking their hard rock, infectious charm. The balance of the two here is good - very good in places - but the songs just need to be a teeny-weeny bit more catchy before Powderhog are ready for the big leagues. Now grab yourself a beer and pop on this album, cause rowdy rock'n'roll can't be listened to without a barbecue or a beer bottle in near vicinity.


Download: Choke, Ghosts, Black Cancer
For the fans of: Audioslave, Soundgarden, Nickelback, Black City, Bullet Train Blast
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.10.2010
Trechoma Records

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