It took Desert Hounds five years to record their album Hang On but some things are worth the wait and this is one of those things. The ten songs are well produced and extremely well written. The band has said that they “sound like 1970's rock and roll meets Dawes or Dr. Dog.” I do agree with that assessment but you don’t need to go that far back for references. You can hear shades of a band like Fleet Foxes and even some of the more folksy, country tunes from Mumford and Sons.
The band isn’t making music that is the most innovative thing happening right now but when the delivery is this good it really doesn’t matter. It’s the type of music that feels undeniably connected to human emotions. The sound waves travel through the air, hit your ears and then resonate through your body. Even though the band plays a blend of rock, blues, country and folk there is no denying this is music for the soul.
The band kicks things off with an energetic, upbeat song entitled “Hang On.” There is a tinge of Paul Simon and even Vampire Weekend on this track. It’s the type of song you could start your day to and is the most natural serotonin booster I have heard in awhile.
The band goes bluesy on “Roots.” It’s a solid song but not as well done as “Ring.” ”Ring” is nostalgic, reflective and also contains powerful piano and memorable vocals. The band continues to put out consistently well-crafted songs. The country flavored “Hard Way” sits well next to the sparse “Pain, Pain, Pain.” Desert Hounds does have a song that you could call epic. “Bloodbath” has an old school 70’s John Bonham style drum breakdown. On top of that the guitars are exceptional on this track.
Hang On isn’t perfect but it’s still really good. Everything about the songs feels honest and pure. At the end of the day those aspects go a long way in establishing a connection to music.
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