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Hound - Settle Your Scores

Settle Your Scores
by Martin Knap at 28 August 2018, 5:12 PM

I’m not someone who looks at the nostalgia trend in Rock and Metal favorably. I tend to agree with the view of the music critic Simon Reynilds who argued that the “retromania” that has taken hold of Western popular culture in the aftermath of the post-9/11 world is a symptom of a cultural malaise. (He basically argues that retromania is the societal equivalent of a person getting depressed: a closing into oneself, an inability to escape one’s outlook, a state of apathy, a lack of interesting in exploring new horizons.) But there are, of course, interesting acts and musicians that are totally retro and still make good (or fun) music – think GHOST or TRIBULATION. One might argue that these two bands are not completely “archive Rock” – that they creatively borrow form the past but create something new out of them. That is not the case with the German band HOUND, who are, in my view, the epitome of archive Rock.

HOUND are super into Classic Rock, more precisely 1970s bluesy Hard Rock – LED ZEPPELIN, DEEP PURPLE, etc., one can even hear some THE DOORS's influences in some songs, especially when in comes to the keys. The over an hour long debut titled  “Settle Your Scores” is packed with perfect 3 to 6 minute Hard Rock songs that just teleport you back into a bygone era when the world was much simpler, the beer tasted better and playing a guitar was an absolute kitty magnet. The songs are catchy, the band is just killing it when it comes to playing their instruments and singing, there are enough ideas to keep the listener entertained over the course of the album. But while listening to this I can’t help but think how everything feels like it is assembled from different pieces taken from the past. In the song “The Secret Commonwealth” the singer is even singing “be-bop a-lula” – that’s pretty wild… if you’re someone who thinks boogie-woogie is a rad dance. Individually the songs are all “good” or even “excellent” and there is good a good variety of songs on the album – songs with a lot of energy like the catchy opening song “Not So Long Ago”, or nice quasi ballads like “Flesh and Bone”. But it still seems to me that the golden rule that a Rock album should be 40 mins long applies here, one hour of seventies Hard Rock is a bit much for one sitting (at least for me).

This album is a fun collection of songs that can feel a bit banal, in the same other fun retro music does (I’m looking at you GHOST). To me it feels like music these days is produced to fit ephemeral tastes and fashions more than to have real substance, but if this is your cup of tea, you’ll not going to regret checking this out. I case you don’t like it you can still recommend it to your dad – he’ll probably dig it.

Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Not So Long Ago
2. Jim Vance
3. The Perilous Realm
4. Cursed Place
5. Thoughts & Prayers
6. Not At All
7. The Poacher
8. The Secret Commonwealth
9. Grit
10. Flesh & Bone
11. Settle Your Scores
12. Awful Fellow

Wanja Neite (Vocals)
 Nando Grujic (Guitar)
Jonas Gehlen (Organ)
Yannick Aderb (Bass)
John Senft (Drums)

Record Label: Metalville


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