As if the cover art weren’t enough to draw you in – HELLOOOOO Earle Rock Studios -, Holy White Hounds‘ sophomore full-length release is absolutely extraordinary. Blending in the signature “eff you” style that they established with 2016’s Sparkle, Sparkle, Say It With Your Mouth is an established alt-rock adventure, with high stakes energy from beginning to end. While first track “Thirsty” insists that “I’m not excited,” the intense lead-in would say otherwise, as “Lucid Kid” establishes an energy that we’re ready to bump from now into the summer months. “Perpetrator” feels like the perfect addition to “Guitar Hero,” catchy as all get out with a visual that will keep your mind reeling.
The quirky name of the project can be found in the lines of “No Teeth”, while “Big Heavy” boasts the perfect sound to be played during an NFL game. (Shameless plug.) While Dean struggles with his perspective in “Trifection”, the attitude continues – complete with a whole different level of percussion – in seventh track “Violence”. This one is a real banger, so make sure to allow plenty of space to move around when you press “play” on it.
Dave Keuning joins in on the fun with “What I Am”, and “Burnt Tongue” speeds things up even more than originally anticipated, guitar licks and a beat that doesn’t just pull you in, but drags you in by your shoelaces – or bootstraps, or whatever gets you going – and does not let go. The drums set the scene for “The Void”, coming in with bass that sets one of those “walking like a badass” vibes for the remainder of the track. (AKA add this to your life soundtrack and when you’ve got to raise that confidence, play it and strut your stuff!)
If you are really paying attention to the lyrics instead of just the mood the soundscape sets for you, you’ll notice a variety of emotions, stemming from personal anecdotes that have been woven throughout the work as a whole. Dean’s vocals drag more of that emotion out of us, highlighting moments of darkness and a questioning mentality while we all learn how to feel through it. “Tracy Free” is one of those introspective tracks that really entices you to think, though the title of its follow-up, “Aids Chimp”, kind of detracts from the weight of the words.
But that’s what we’ve come to respect and love about this band. They can sing about some dark, dark shit and keep this weightless feel to it all, and you can tell that they are a ton of fun live simply from listening to a few lines from Say It With Your Mouth, if you haven’t yet been graced by their live performance tactics. “New Blood” will further enforce the theatrical nature of the band, though they may be the last to admit it. With bits of comedy mixed in with self realization and that clear, gorgeous edge, we’re big fans of this album as a journey, and are stoked you get to hear it from beginning clear through “Thirsty Outro”.
Say It With Your Mouth is available now. Keep up with Holy White Hounds here.
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