A Hound Ensemble

A Hound Ensemble

Written by: PP on 10/06/2013 23:42:12

If iceage played surf rock, they would almost certainly sound like A Hound Ensemble, who are a "groovy noise punk trio from Copenhagen" if you are to believe their press release. Basically, they take the surf rock and rockabilly of fellow Danish ands The Surfing Henchmen and The Tremolo Beer Gut and squeeze it through a post-punkish iceage/lower filter. Call it hipster, retro, or experimental if you will, but I'm going to call bullshit and say that the vocal howls and yells are irritable at best, terrible at worst throughout their self-titled debut album, which makes it a difficult album to sit down and listen through from start to finish.

Like they correctly point out in their press material, their sound is a mixture of what I just described and the noise rock origins of Melvins and Sonic Youth, except here it just sounds too chaotic and unpolished for its own good. Those bands experimented with what is possible to do with sound while still call it music (though others have since surpassed that by every imaginable measure), but A Hound Ensemble are intentionally writing music that is noisy and almost exclusively lacks reference points that would make their material listenable in the long run. You can forgive iceage for their vocal talent because it feels like a natural fit to their fuck-it-all type of post-punk (on their sophomore album at least), but in this case the purposefully off-tune and careless vocals sound amateurish and unfinished overall.

I'm not a fan of criticizing bands from our local scene, but this time, a reality check is much-needed. The surf parts aren't chilled out enough to draw over the surf crowd, the rockabilly isn't pronounced enough to attract that scene, and the post-punk isn't executed as well as it should partly due to the effect of the two aforementioned genres, so who exactly is going to listen to A Hound Ensemble? Much work is needed for their next album.

Download: Astronaughty, Sweet Tooth Sleeps
For the fans of: Iceage, The Surfing Henchmen, The Tremolo Beer Gut
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.01.2013

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