[Review] Hogg - .

Coming from Thessaloniki, Hogg were formed somewhere in 2009 and at last they released their debut album titled "."... They probably put a lot of effort to come with a title like this which makes it a piece of cake to track the album down in the realm of world wide web. But this is what you get when you're dealing with a bunch of stoner bastards. So Hogg obviously play pure, straight forward stoner rock. These guys go back to the basics, somewhere in the '90s when deserts were on fire, beer ran like waterfall and smoke was burning your eyes...

Their music is raw, heavy and jaw-breaking. It brings in mind the times when Kyuss and Fu Manchu were filling your lungs with dust. Fuck experimenting, fuck psychedelia, fuck innovations and praise the bloody groove!

"Smoking Tree" which starts the album is a QOTSA-driven tune as far as its structure concerned with all these cuts and breaks. Of course it has nothing to do with QOTSA when it comes to vocals since the grizzly they're having as singer knows only to grunt. Instead of sucking raw eggs for his voice, he drinks a bottle of whiskey and smokes like Smoking Man from X-Files. Go figure...

"Death Call" is an uptempo, groovy as hell tune that fairly takes its place as one of my album's favorites. "Figure It Out" is probably the most Kyuss-driven song so you know it's going to be good stuff. One of the most high-voltage tracks is "Embrace Destruction". It's fast-paced, powerful with some amazing bass lines in the last minute. Actually in the last minute is like listening to some good ol' Fu Manchu.

"Catapult" and "World On Fire" are two more highlights, punching you right between your eyes. "Cheap Beers 'n' Albanian Weed" closes the album and I must congratulate them for the intro they chose. It's from a Greek movie called "Matchbox" and it's one of the best cult films where paranoia, tension and curses prevail, leading to laugh your ass off especially if you're under the influence of cheap beers and albanian weed. Now the song is the longest one and while it has a lot of good ideas and is an enjoyable one, I think it should have been a little shorter.

Hogg's debut really hit me in the face. Hogg are talented and know how to create high-energy music. Τhe only downside Ι found is that at some parts, vocals don't work well in my opinion. When Cobas' goes agressive, he's fucking great. But I think he needs to work a little bit the clean and melodic parts.

Yes it isn't something you haven't heard before and the Greek scene has a lot of stoner bands. But I think that Hogg are one of the bands which are closest to stoner rock's primal substance, mainly based on rawness, desert's "heavy soul" and groove. Also they haven't used a single element of the whole Pantera/Down legacy which plays a major role for me when reviewing an album.

It was a right move to put them as support in the upcoming Orange Goblin's gig in Thessaloniki because their music will fit perfectly in the gig's atmosphere. I wish all organizers consider the factor "atmosphere - music resemblance" more often and put as support bands that deserve to be there even if they're less known and not only their own guys or the ones with the right connections. Give music a fucking chance...

So put on your best, formal clothes, invite your friends for a tea party, prepare your porcelain cups and dishes, put this raging bull in your player and... I'm leaving the rest as a surprise. But be sure to have a cleaning crew on standby to clear up the mess...

Written by Thanos

01. Smoking Tree
02. Death Call
03. Figure It Out
04. Loaded Dice
05. Embrace Destruction
06. Forest Of Despair
07. Catapult
08. World On Fire
09. Sick Love
10. Cheap Beers 'n' Albanian Weed

You can download "." by paying anything you want from their bandcamp.
Physical copies will be released in early September.

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