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Hogs - Fingerprints

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 15 June 2018, 11:07 AM

HOGS is an Italian Hard Rock/Funk quartet. Formed in 2012 in Florence, the band’s line-up wasn’t solidified until 2015, when they added singer Simone Cei. They released their debut effort “Fishnets” in 2015, and now return with their sophomore album “Fingerprints,” which contains eleven tracks.

“Man Size” kicks things off, with a pentatonic guitar riff that is part chunky and part bluesy. They keep the vocals to a minimum for the most part, trading questions back and forth in male and female voices.  “Stinking Like a Dog” brings a little Funk to the table in the rhythm and progressions of the guitar riffs. Some backing vocals in the chorus register the sound a little brighter. “Australia Summerland” is a bit slower. The riff starts off with a lush sound but quickly settles into a more bluesy groove. The lush sound returns in the chorus, where the vocal harmonies make it shine. “Down to the River” has some hazy tones, as if it were born in the smokey air of a night club. The experience is emotionally charging to the soul. “Another Dawn” has an easy listening riff and a combination of darker and brighter elements that work off one another.

“Man of the Scores” opens with a slapping bass line and shoots through a bit faster. Cei stretches out more in the verses and they push some accents in the chorus. “Can’t Find my Home” could be an ode to the experience of being a band and being on the road. Some doleful vocal notes would support this notion, as well as some tender passages that are easy to connect with. “Don’t Stop Moving” is a positive message and a song that has some upbeat characteristics. Though they never really hit big accents here, the sound is pleasant the entire way through. “Just for One Day” is a near seven-minute closer. You can feel the subdued sound here aimed is at aimed at poignant expression. A bit sad, but also hopeful at times, you can really feel that the emotions are real, especially in the vocal performance. For me, it was the best song on the album, and a glorious way to end what was an inconsistent listening experience.

The trouble I really had with the album was establishing a clear identity. It wasn’t about the music being hard or soft, because that doesn’t really matter. It was about me being able to come out of the album with an easy way to some up what I heard as a whole. Perhaps that mere notion leaves the band in an area that is more their own, and that is never a bad thing. Good music should be very personal after all. I’d be interested in hearing more from the band before completely making up my mind.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Man Size
2. Stinking Like a Dog
3. Mr. Hide
4. Australia Summerland
5. Down to the River
6. Another Dawn
7. Man of the Scores
8. Can’t find my Home
9. Jewish Vagabond
10. Don’t Stop Moving
11. Just for One Day
Simone Cei – Lead Vocals
Francesco Bottai – Guitars
Luca Cantasano – Bass
Pino Gulli – Drums
Record Label: Red Cat Records


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