Fogging hell this is good

Baltimore four piece Foghound created some kind of waves with their debut record a couple of years ago, so much so in fact that album number two caught the ears of some pretty impressive people.

First, “The World Unseen” was recorded by Mike Dean – who, when he’s not being a Corrosion Of Conformity legend commits things to analogue tape, and second, the good people at Ripple Music – who surely must have put out a bad record once? – gave it a home.

With a support cast like that, let’s be fair, this ain’t about to fail is it? In fact, making a fantastic collection appears to have been something of a slam dunk, given the quality on view here.

“Above The Wake”, which kicks off things in a kind of sinister fashion, before swinging like a wrecking ball in a model village is superb, “Message In The Sky” has a heavier heart and is more of a headbanging affair, and even here just a mere two songs in, you are left just wanting to see them play these songs – hell, any songs, – live, because it surely would be a magical experience.

“The World Unseen” largely concerns itself with picking the pockets of all the great bands and taking what they find to create something fresh, the low down dirty groove of “Serpentine” knows its way around Clutch’s back catalogue without ever sounding like a homage to Neil Fallon’s men, while there’s a timeless chug to “On A Roll” and “Give Up The Ghost” is just a magnificent rock n roll song – and knows it too – as it teases by being sort of like Down playing a Thin Lizzy tune.

“Rockin’ And Rollin’” has an innocence about it, and there’s a feeling that Foghound have made a record for themselves to enjoy first and foremost, but equally they are more than pleased to have you along for the ride, as it is an album with an admirable capacity to surprise, with “Truth Revealed” and its almost grunge overtones quite unlike anything elsewhere.

“Bridge Of Stonebrows” an acoustic, bluesy instrumental is the chill-out room, but there’s a primal urgency to “Street Machine” that marks it out as a little bit special, and “Never Return” is not only the closing song here, but perhaps the best, as its fuzzy wall of sound just won’t be denied.

Oddly there is nothing remotely foggy about Foghound. There is just crystal clarity that “The World Unseen” is an exceptional record, and one which deserves to see them make further strides.

Rating 9/10

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