The Maryland music scene is something to be admired, many of today’s big hitters hail from this mid-atlantic state; CLUTCH, DYING FETUS, PERIPHERY (…GOOD CHARLOTTE?) and when that search is narrowed down to the area of Baltimore there is still a nice plethora of bands to check out. Formed in 2012, FOGHOUND are a stoner rock supernova – for a relatively new band, the tightness and sheer singularity of the 4-piece is incredible. The bands sound can be likened to that of CLUTCH, again another Maryland 4-piece, but in the similar styles that the bands have their subtle differences. The World Unseen is the bands second and newest album, each individual song shows the great dynamics of the band.
Above the Rise kicks of the album and has a great sound to it – showing the bands own colours, possibly being the most ‘different’ sound of all without suggesting that the other 9 tracks are samey. A brooding riff fades in in a typical stoner/doom way and with a crash we have instruments – the track accelerates for a moment and slows once more. Textured vocals surround the soundscape, every instrument feels very real, pure almost, Above the Rise overall has this kinetic feel to it. The chorus has a great build up to it, and follows through nicely (emphasise added), and there is a sweet solo – the track still has a good rock and roll vibe about it, the solo really adds that touch too it.
Another track that stands out is On a Roll, the pacing to it and especially the vocal structure could be compared to that of TRUCKFIGHTERS; marginally staggered, ever so slightly different in pitch and very flowing; the lyrics almost roll. Whilst the track is rather simple, that isn’t too suggest it doesn’t work. It makes for a really easy listening kind of song, not to little and not to much.
Rockin’ & Rollin’ is one of the bands faster paced tracks; on-point aggressive, very memorable and perfect air guitar material. This track flies by as well; the speed of this song makes it seem way shorter than it is – the listener is thrust down a desert highway surrounded by epic harmonised solo’s and perfectly executed phaser effects that falls in to this pounding outro where every element just feels amped up. Bridge of Stonebows slows down the album nicely, like putting on the brakes a touch, this track is smooth and very layered. In this instrumental each element feels decently separated, making the track feel close and raw. Whilst the track isn’t wild with complexities it again shows that there is science in simplicity, the track almost rolls forward into each section in a kind of bouncy way, pulling the listener along for a mellow journey.
Track 9 is Street Machine, this is track could be also likened to being on the aforementioned desert highway however this time it is in a drag car. There are two very clear divides in this songs rhythm, the slower areas are bouncy and repetitious then explode in to this wild torrent, this is the drag car element. This under acceleration feeling this song puts out are wild, the previous repetitious lines lure you into this false sense of predictability and when you least expect it, boom, the track is flying – really steps up a gear. Street Machine is a strong 8/10 as it is, bolstered by the rest of this track list it serves as another end to the scale of utter diversity that FOGHOUND are capable of.
This is merely half the track list featured on The World Unseen, each track is can stand up on its own; the result that FOGHOUND have here is simply sublime. The variations in the 10 tracks are nice parallels for one another, but still managing to keep that core heavy rock n’ roll sound to it makes The World Unseen particularly sweet. FOGHOUND have a raw style that a lot of emerging bands lose, it works so well on top of the tightness and flexibility the 4-piece demonstrate also, The World Unseen is without a doubt a diamond in the rough.
The World Unseen is out now via Ripple Music.
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