November 1, 2014
When I write a review I tend to want to avoid saying what other bloggers say. I want to tread new ground, to reinvent the wheel, to mix metaphors … I want to put some thought into my writing, to do justice to music that moves me. Sometimes, though, the most eloquent I can be is simply to say, ” … Damn!!” From Los Angeles, I knew I’d like the Bloodhounds as soon as I came across their picture on the cover of their debut, Let Loose! My expectations were doubled by the fact that the album was being released by the tremendous Alive Natural Sound Records, home to so many other “Damn!!” acts who flirt with a deadly concoction of punk, blues and roots music. A band with Latin roots, the Bloodhounds can’t help but bring to mind “another band from East L.A.,” though the influence is less direct in their songs. What is there is that same love of classic R&B, early rock and garage punk, with cuts like “Wild Little Rider” and “Crackin’ Up” sounding like 60s era nuggets. Bucking the theory that you can’t judge a band by one song title, there’s the immediate classic “Try a Little Reefer”. The sloppy electric guitar, overamplified harmonica, underlying organ and gang vocals give you exactly what you’d expect/hope for with a name like that. Like J Roddy Walston or Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, I want to blast the Bloodhounds from my busted speakers. I want to share “Bottle Cap Blues” with the neighbors and their contentedly clucking backyard chickens. Sure the music is derivative, but there’s no denying that Let Loose! has authentic soul. Damn!!