Written by: JM on 11/06/2007 02:06:46

The situation in the more classic Danish rock scene has been a dying one of late, as has been described by Danish media, with several bands like Sort Sol disappearing from the scene. However this makes Powderhog's entrance perhaps even more fitting. The Danish garage-rock band, with the classic line-up of guitars, base, drums, keyboard (in this case a Hammond-organ) and a vocalist, see both a return to the classic, but with what the band themselves describe as having revived style with new energy and soul. Their debut album that has been among the cds to be amplified through my speakers recently, has been through Jacob Hansen's studio for some good production. We've had an interview with Jacob Hansen before and even for those readers that have yet to check that out, he'll be far from unknown, as he has been behind other popular bands on the Danish rock scene, such as Volbeat and Mercenary.

They've already been creating themselves a fan base through live shows and winning the Danish award "Aarets Leif". This seems to be a band worth noting. The garage rock scene has been growing in mainstream appeal since the genre first broke unto the mainstream, in the early part of this century with bands like The Strokes, The Vines, The Hives, and The White Stripes. The genre still however has its beginnings as early as the 1960s and has enjoyed various bursts of success through the last 50 years.

However lets jump to their self-titled debut album that has provided a flow of classic/garage rock tunes through my speakers. The album spends little time introducing itself and moves directly from a silent or quiet first 2 seconds to a high paced classic rock tuned. The vocal of Johnny Houmark is a hoarse, nearly screaming vocal, which resembles much of the vocals from harder genres, but which has also become much more common in the garage rock genre. This however is not to be taken as a downside for the album. Quite the opposite in fact, as Johnny Houmark's voice is one of the attributes that keeps the energy flowing throughout the album. The second song is their albums first single "A Thousand Ways Out Of Here?", which the band has recently finished producing a video for. The songs almost melt together and the listener is barely given any time to breath between the tracks, with the "A Thousand Ways Out Of Here?" starting almost immediately after the opening track, even after disabling my cross-fading settings. This keeps the album's tempo and energy continually high, but also contributes to the difficulty in distinguishing the difference between the various tracks. The album suffers from a repetitive uneventful continuation of like sounding tracks. This is the greatest fault with this album, each track is too difficult to distinguish and no single track truly stands out from the rest.

The actual style of the album is most definitely among the classic genres, taking your memory back to rock's much younger days. The album is full of lively riffs accompanied with a fast drum beat, as well as the very fitting voice of Johnny Houmark. The simple rock recipe of 2 guitars, a bass, drums, and a vital rock-n-roll voice, places Powderhog safely within the genre of garage rock and distances it from the metal and emo genres. However Powderhog is not the only band that has ever attempted to return to the classics and their album does not provide anything innovative and new. This may potentially pose a threat to Powderhog when fighting to distinguish themselves on the vast international scene, but what cannot be argued against is their energy and masterful execution of the classic rock-n-roll recipe. They've provided the Danish scene with a new band to take the place of the dying classic Danish rock-n-roll bands and with an already long list of tours for the summer through Germany and the US, perhaps they've also got another well produced and executed rock-n-roll album perfect for the international scene.

Powderhog may struggle to gain a place in the heart of the emo or metal kids, but the still strong classic rock-n-roll fans will be happy to add them to their repertoire. This is a solid debut album that promises good quality music for those hungry after the more old style rock-n-roll bands. I will however be hoping for a more daring second album, with more renewal and a better attempt to distinguish themselves on the international stage.


Download: A Thousand Ways Out Of Here?, For The Guilty
For the fans of: The Strokes, The Vines, The Hives, and The White Stripes
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.05.2007
Trechoma Records ApS

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