Playing hard rock with a tantalising blend of funk, blues, and other varied flavours to it, Italian band Hogs have just released second album Fingerprints. It is an encounter which builds on a debut from Italians which certainly courted keen attention and has all the imagination to take the Florence outfit to a far broader placed audience.
The band’s seeds began in 2012 with guitarist Francesco Bottai, bassist Luca Cantasano, and drummer Pino Gulli; their creative union the spring board for the emergence of Hogs. The band’s line-up was subsequently completed by vocalist Simone Cei. 2015 saw the release of debut album, HOGS in fishnets via Red Cat Records who the band has again linked up with for Fingerprints. It was an encounter openly suggesting potential and imagination within its accomplished body; intimation now realised within its highly enjoyable successor.
Fingerprints opens up with Man size and instantly chunky riffs tempt with tenacious rhythms in close quarter. As it settles down, a blues spicing fires up within its classic rock setting, Cei’s potent tones at the core matched by the guest vocals of Carlotta Cocchi. Catchy in its swing, robust in its touch and wonderfully unpredictable in its enterprise, the imagination is soon caught in its drama, its array of styles and flavours woven into one strong magnetic start.
Stinking like a dog follows and is instantly casting a tantalising shuffle shaped by the dextrous swings of Gulli and the animated touch of Botta’s guitar. Hips could not escape the effect of the song’s swing, its funkiness, driven by the excellent tenacity of Cantasano’s bass, soon getting under the skin.
The infectious exploits of Mr. Hide is just as manipulative; its bluesy stroll and melodic rock shaped tempting a captivating launch to sonic flames and vocal reflection before making way for the warm sonic climes of Australia summerland. Again there is a classic rock breath to the song and though it misses the more unpredictable and adventurous twists of its predecessors, it leaves ears and appetite more than satisfied especially with the individual craft of the band in full display.
The jazzy air and touch of Down to the river needs little time to stir the imagination next, its reggae flavoured instincts just as magnetic as the organ of Federico Pacini; its inviting sway and the heart bred expression of Cei, a rich lure on top.
Across the likes of the boisterously magnetic Another dawn and the rousingly raucous Man of the score, enterprise and imagination fly from the speakers. The second of the pair is especially compelling with its animated rock ‘n’ roll while the increasingly captivating Can’t find my home is a web of alternative, hard and blues rock which teases with the familiar and refreshes with the individual. Pacini adds his keys to the escapade once again as too in Jewish vagabond which follows, this song a ballad with a lively smoulder and melodic elegance which too just became more magnetic by the minute and play, country borne sighs courtesy of Paolo Giorgi’s peddle guitar adding to the sunshine of the song.
Both songs relish the imagination open in varying degrees within the album, unexpected turns which surprise among more recognisable strains of enterprise and to be found within the closing pair of Don’t stop moving and Just for one day. The excellent first is one of the songs which seems so familiar from start to finish yet only pleasures and recruits keen participation alongside the imagination. The final track is a calm emotively cast ballad; a sunset of melodic and vocal intimation which caresses as potently as it flames around ears.
It is fair to say that the Hogs sound is not one we would naturally be drawn to but Fingerprints is a release we just took too. It is one which also grew in potency and persuasion play by play so worth a good look at we reckon.
Fingerprints is available now through Red Cat Records/7Hard now through most stores.
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