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Hogs: Hogs In Fishnets

Can't decide whether your band is a rock outfit, or fun seeking funksters? Well, why not simply be both and split your album down the middle (weren't these ideas simpler when vinyl was king?) - and that's exactly what Italy's Hogs have done with their debut Hogs In Fishnets. Up first is the 'Funky Side', "There's No Chance To Be Alive" arriving with bass bouncing in all the right places as singer Simone Cei gives the first hint that he's a talented chap. That he's backed up with a bank of smart backing vocals doesn't hurt and also provides glimpses of a slightly progressive side to Hogs. "Can't Stop It" adds a blusier touch via Francesco Bottai's (also a member of Strange Fruit) dirty riff, before the almost fusion-lite of "Lay Me Down And Pretend" throbs and thrums into being one of the strongest tracks on show, especially when the ramshackle chorus makes its mark.

The 'Hard Side' doesn't exactly reinvent the Hogs wheel, "Behind The Eyes Of A Fool" not far removed from what has come before, although "Living By The Low" (which when you read the lyrics gets lost in translation somewhere - "Living By The Law" possibly?) definitely has a stronger Roth era Van Halen vibe; something also true for "Dance On Rock", even if the Hogs suggest in the lyrics that 'I know this may remind you 'bout Alice Cooper' as the song comes to its conclusion (a little I suppose...). Oddly for the 'Hard Side' there are a couple of slower/mid paced offerings, "Keep On Trying (I Got To Go)" closing the album on a somewhat melancholy (and aimless) vibe, although the deep bluesy 60s/70s meander of "Wasting Time" proves far more captivating.

In the end Hogs In Fishnets is hardly a remarkable statement (and the awful cover does it no favours), however with "Lay Me Down And Pretend" and possibly "Dance On Rock" there are hints of what this outfit could achieve. Add in that Bottai is certainly a skilled guitarist and that Cei (who's only 22) may prove to be a real vocal find and there's no denying the talent on show. For album number two, a little more focus on creating a stronger, forceful and more memorable set of songs could see this band really begin to hit their mark.

Track Listing
1. There's no Chance to Be Alive
2. Can't Stop It
3. Lay Me Down and Pretend
4. Lots of Butterflies
5. All For You
6. Behind the Eyes of a Fool
7. Living by the Low
8. Wasting Time
9. Dance on Rock
10. Keep on Trying

Added: September 13th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Hogs on Facebook
Hits: 1665
Language: english

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