Hogan sGoatBar

Sitting here for a good 15 minutes trying to come up with a decent introduction that won't sound completely "off" - it is hard sometimes to communicate what you feel from music. But, just because it is hard, doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't do it because I am afraid some may not understand me. Then the part of me that has learned to NGAF what other people think over the last 2 years, kicks in and I realize that sometimes, there's no way around It. You gotta tell it li like it is and just know that whoever is supposed to "get" it, will.

Normally, one might think a band from Nashville would be from the other genre across the highway. You know, the ones that sing about trains, trucks and prison? (they list the following as hometowns as well:Nashville, TN | Billings, MT | Denton, TX | Southern Pines, NC)  Even more to the point, you wouldn't think that the band named after a fellow whose name is Hogan and his goat. Apparently, the band's name stems from Scottish folk lore about Hogan and his smelly, fly ridden, one-eyed goat. The stench of this goat wafted miles and miles - and while for me, I don't wanna think about this creature and his/her stench, I get the metaphor. I get that the music of HOGAN'S GOAT is so different and strange to the ear, that it too will travel miles and miles.  Hell, a play was written back in 1955 by New York playright, CHARLES EARL FUNK about this goat of Hogan's so you know, it's (Hogan's Goat) thing's gotta be important to some degree. While the name is different, it's one you won't forget. 

With all of the oddities that circle around the band; their name & its origin coming from a smelly beast (even though there are weirdos that like to smell stuff...good or bad...ehum), the titles of their songs - all of it could either spark a keen interest or the opposite for some fans. I heeded the words of someone I completely respect when they said "you will love this band" - and I went ahead and dove into the record taking off my googles and nose plug and let it all seep in...ready? Here we go!

1. RAT BOY - the breaks are lovely at the begging of fhis song. The facelttos are almost perfect and I love the mix. The breakdown at around 2:25 is super clean and unexpected going into this slaying guitar solo that sounds like either one of them has 8 fingers on each hand or they're both playing the same guitar. It's so fast! Fast but not thrash!

2. PENNYMADE - the guitar tones DONOVAN &/or THOMAS use are so clean and sparkly in this song! I dig that sound and listeners will follow it like a bloodhound tracks a raccoon in the backwoods of Mississippi. And they'll find something alright - right under those lows or the drop change - WHAT IS THAT?!? it sounds like the melody the sheriff might be humming as he follows his hound to the end of the scent. What a great bass line! Brilliant AARON! JOHN puts just a smidgen of grit to make you feel a little more dirty than when you started listening. 

3. SHIT KICKER - my kind of song title! Dammit, that twang in the guitar - is sexy AF! What is up, background high notes?!?! My gawd! That is gristly and thick like a steak about to sear on a grill. The opposites, if you will on the backing vocals is red hot. And JOHN'S vibrato is completely necessary here because it punches up the emotion/power of the song. This sludgy tempo mimics those slow reactions we have every now and again, you know what I mean? So strong!

4. ANNIE OF THE RAILS - ok, these song titles are awesomely amazing. I love that ANNIE OF THE RAILS creates this really fuzzy, distorted motion picture in my head and then it melts away with the lyric. Haven't we all known that man with the mirror and seen an Annie in social circles? Hell yes we do!! Y'all pay attention to the chorus and to that plunking guitar solo that rides bareback into the 2 minutes and 42 second mark...SICK AF!! It is chaotic and like a devilish imp justifying the next sniff or snort, bag or bump...

5. OVER THE PALISADE - I swear, it's like I've got a direct into the guitars - but I promise, I don't - they're just ballz!! DONOVAN/THOMAS (sorry, I don't know who is playing what!) Mother bitch! Someone needs to pick me up off the floor, everytime I hear this! heavy duty stuff, Lovelies! I love the almost 180 degree sling-shot to the chorus. So many unexpected turns throughout this song. I can NOT wait to hear this song live and watch the audience react to the double punch to the spleen this song gives! 

Hogan s Goat Cover Art SMALL6. IF I'M DEAD - there is distortion, all channels weighing in just like many rock songs do. What saved this song from just being ok to f'ing YOUGE - are the varied times; the chorus!! Aggh!! Look, there's nothing wrong with a standardized format. It works, right? - songs like those are some of the best. What kills me about this song is the distortion - becomes a thought that can be heard outside of either DONOVAN or THOMAS' mind almost. How beautiful is that godam solo? I love the eeriness of something that sounds like a lyre or harp. More powerful vocals and equally shocking harmonys. Damit!

7. JOHN DOE - it's all about showing what a band can do and do well. and HOGAN'S GOAT does a riff/tempo combination in their music that is resonates and is satisfying like two fingers of whiskey - it's the perfect amount to make your stomach tingle just so your brain knows it's down there. And right as it starts to soothe you, and give you that signal so you know that flighty warmth is about to hit ya. 

8. JACK & JILL - nice change up at the verse. I was surprised by the chorus - and it's good for me when a song doesn't go the way I think it is going to go. The drums are ab-fab in this song and throughout the whole record; WAYNE is a bad ass! Listening to JACK & JILL is like riding a loop-de-loop roller coaster designed like a kid would put 8 loops all at once. I like the diversity of this song - there's nothing they're not going to try. Like the burst of a trill from a drum machine and the layers of the harmonies. Ya, those harmonies will stir up the gooey parts in your gut, that is fo' sho'!

9. ELKHORN MOUNTAIN - dude, there's a banshee like hollar tucked back in the back from JOHN's voice! I love the subtle crazy of what this band can do. The "wow" factor is huge with this song and scattered all over this record. It's music like this that start to create a movement in music. I love this style right now and where it is going. (HE IS LEGEND, ALL HAIL THE YETI come to mind and they're on my playlist daily).

10. DRINKIN' WITH THE PRIEST SPLAT!!  And there it begins, straight up. I love when songs come in with no hesitation, almost like you interrupted it. I almost expected this song to be kinda spoofy, solely from the title. Nope, not in the slightest. Buried in the notes and cadence of the song is some pain and crazy darkness that results in an awakening or a cleansing. And it feels good to get those ticks off of us; head and all. This is one of my favorite songs on the record.

One thing that was continually repeated to me whilst listening to HOGAN'S GOAT is the amount of raw talent that you can't learn or mimic from influences, I don't care how many time you listened to them. And what's so paramount about this aspect for this band; they don't even realize it. They haven't even uncovered this ability, at least in my opinion - it's what I feel, not necessarily what I know, And I think this is one of the biggest reasons I totally love this band, I want to see what is next because if it's as good as this record - well, y'all better hold onto your hats...This is the wooly mammoth sized footprint of HOGAN'S GOAT wrapped up in this self-titled LP. They're much bigger than a goat of Hogan's - but Hogan's Wooly Mammoth just doesn't sound as good, am I right? 

HOGAN'S GOAT MEMBERS: Vocals - John Salmon | Guitars - Donovan Bettisse & Thomas Banks | Bass - Aaron Stoner | Drums - Wayne Michel

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Til next time - MRML 

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