UKNW SOUNDS : HOUNDMOUTH (USA)
It is strange that a label coincident with underground music and full intentions has become the mecca of traditional values. From what was their reputation of a post-punk, subversive soul or black funk label, Rough Trade now blends into something more original and “home-grown”, without any presumption. This is what makes these loyal nostalgic lovers more attractive than ever.
Kentucky said: “United we stand, divided we fall.” This motto clearly presents the jubilant union of four musicians that comprises Houndmouth, the latest muse of Rough Trade. From their homeland they draw from original bluegrass music and sooth us with From The Hills Below The City, a high rock’n’roll heat to take it back to the roots. The intro On The Road, is a walk of sounds through the plains and farmlands, and gently gives us the desire to enjoy a good whiskey in the middle of the tobacco crops.
In line with Alabama Shakes who emerged last year, the group uses natural and simple sounds, without excess. Their musicality is the most important thing. “When we record, we do not use rubbish … We want to keep it as real and raw as possible.” Of course, country / folk music has served as their support to produce mannered and manufactured sounds, avoiding falling into clichés as much as possible (see Penitentiary, Come On, Illinois). The country blues spirit is never far away, the organ and the choruses come alive in the tracks Ludlow and Hey Rose, and with the disconcerting meeting of Houston Train, the voice of Katie Toupin merges with that of June Carter.
Wandering behind the hills of Louisville, we become satisfied and happy with this return to the roots, a fury that hits us in the guts. Whilst hearing the latest musical discovery, we rub our hands together hoping for another trip into the wild bluegrass state.