After some time, being bombarded with notifications from Bandcamp, I’ve managed to have a look to see what’s new there, as I am following not a few labels and artists there.
And then I’ve spotted Dog Hand String Band’s new release, “Slow Poison” and as I’d decided to single it out for a review (because, why the heck not, right?), my OCD’s kicked in.
Nope, I can’t review the latest release without re-listen to their 2017 debut, “Toot n Nail”. Therefore, everything in its order.
Dog Hand String Band (DHSB for short) are a nice little band from Leeds, UK (which is right around the corner from my homebase of Burnley) and they play great outlaw blues/dark country.
Yes, exactly. Not a genre we would pay much attention to, but, if you remember, we are no strangers to it – remember our review for Jeremiah Crow’s Insufferable One Man Show album?
So, how’s the debut of those strange music playing band of English gentlemen? Glad you’ve asked…
The word here is – fucking amazing (here goes another policy violation warning from Google Adsense, but whatever). Just as you finish with nice opener “Intro/Blood Moon Blues”, you are greeted with absolutely fantastic piece of song “Threw You In The Well”. And I don’t know, should it sound somewhat depressive, bringing the wind of death around? See, I’m asking, because this one brings along with it such energy and positive vibe, that it instantly become my favourite. The chorus is so catchy that if I am still drinking, I would probably just down some good ale and start dancing. Yep, more of this, please.
And if you think this one wa just odd one off, well, “Aristabano Mountain bar” will prove you wrong. The shortest track on the album, clocking in less than 3 minutes (2:52 to be precise), it’s picking up where the previous one finished…and you know what, some notes remind me of one popular Slovak punk band – can I dislike it? You’re right, I can’t.
“Gin Shop Hollow”, numero 4 here, starts like an old Italian circus tune, but the raspy vocal will quickly scare curious kids away. Nope, kiddos, there’s no circus here. And we’re considerably slower, and the longer I listen to it, the more I envision some old black n’ white movie from 1930s, it’s really a nice atmosphere, and the song boasts of a nice guitar solo here as well. The outlaw in me is content – so far, I can’t complain.
Shame on me, but I’ve properly caught the bass sound on the “Long Live The Dead”, 5th track on the album. I’ll admit, I kinda expected it will be a standard tune, but the opening part has thrown me aside, the unexpected stop to chorus recitation is a nice touch, and guys are melodic as hell (I mean, they are melodic, because, who knows how melodic hell actually is?), so no experiments with disharmonies here. A big plus.
The album finished wish “Behold The Crow”, the slow ballad, almost like DHSB tries to put you to rest now, to wait for their next offering (and we know now it took them 3 years to bring a new album out, but I can tell you, it is worth waiting for), enlisting a young Nick Cave to sing you to sleep. And the song closes the amazing debut album of amazing group of musicians.
Now, I am sure not many people are diggin’ this genre, but if you love great musicianship and good sounding tunes which prompt you to a good mood in no time. Dog Hand String Band’s debut you just can’t afford to miss. Yee-haw on it!!!!