The Band from Hull release their self-financed debut album
and it deserves your attention
Review by John Brown
Bloodhound a 3 piece grunge rock outfit hailing from Hull, England. Formed in 2015 the band have spent their time until now sculpting and perfecting their sound with their collective eyes on the prize that is “Fragile Skeleton”.
‘Fragile Skeleton’ is a 10 track offering and they’ve stuck, in the main, to tried and tested methods without trying to be too technical. There are a number of bands try to reinvent the wheel, Bloodhound has showcased what they’re good at and have produced an album of which they are rightfully proud.
Bloodhound describe themselves as a grunge rock band but this album is much more. There’s an eclectic mix of genres and sounds ranging from the aforementioned grunge to Shoe-gazing and a touch of 60’s US rock.
The listener can expect huge guitar riffs and soundscapes laid over a basement style recording. Attempting this type of grungy rock can sometimes sound pretentious but this is the real thing. There’s almost a Seattle sound with Nirvana-Esque hints and there are delightful bite-sized offerings of other musical styles and practitioners.
The album opens with guitar riffs and mildly driven vocals and this is a theme that runs throughout the relatively short album. Track one is uptempo and a fair representation of the album. You’ll hear guttural screams and loads of mild distortion; you’ll find good songs which retain some nice sonics due to not taking part in the usual loudness wars that ruin so many potentially good albums.
There are indie type riffs and some stonking choruses that will surely command crowd participation; be prepared to encounter a Simon & Garfunkel style guitar riff and vocal intonations that would sit easily on any Steve Mason album. There’s a Nirvana vibe in several places and that’s ok because let’s face it, they were bloody good and to flirt with their sound can only enhance a musical output such as ‘Fragile Skeleton ‘ and it’s ilk.
The final track has an intro that could have been played by the maestro that is Johnny Marr and there’s a nice bass sound leading the listener through a very mellow track then, before you know it, the journey you’ve shared with Bloodhound comes to an end.
Here’s the rub…
It’s not a perfect album by any means.
Track seven is 7 minutes 50 seconds long with a two-minute outro; that’s roughly a fifth of the overall album length in one song and, to be honest, it’s a bit indulgent. The lead vocals throughout could benefit from a bit more space in the mix as they get lost at times and the drive or distortion on the vocals could be a bit much for some as it’s used on every song. The bass drum needs some clarity and the snare some bite and sparkle to help separate them from a mass of sound that tests your speaker’s mid-range. To counter this nitpicking the band/producer could easily argue the theme or vibe was one of ethereal rock grunge and it would be a valid argument.
The proof of the pudding (album) is in the eating (listening) and the best way to taste that pudding is to buy it. Bloodhound self-financed the album so they, for this at least, deserve your attention and your hard-earned cash. For the price of a couple of fancy coffees, you could have a well-structured album with good songs as well as having the feelgood factor knowing that you’ve rewarded Bloodhound for their endeavour and years of hard work in reaching this point in their musical journey.