Written by: Volt Thrower
Hailing from Brooklyn, with a bluesy sludge sound straight out of NOLA, all topped off with gurgling Russian vocals, Green Hog Band smash any preconceived notion of a stoner doom band. The typical tropes do still apply: see the motorcycle samples, as any good hog-affiliated music makers would utilize, fuzzy riffs, and lyrics about swamp monsters. But the way this 3-piece manage to package it up into a unique beast on this EP is what keeps me coming back for more.
The opening one-two punch of "Eclipse" and "Machine" is so damn good they could’ve made up their own 7” EP. Green Hog Band displays an absolutely suffocating low end throughout, contrasted nicely by bluesy leads seemingly trying to escape from the murky swamp. A spine chilling cattle shriek about 3 and a half minutes into the opener sets the unsettling scene well. The music alone is memorable, but the Russian lyrics sound and feel absolutely poetic. The vocal inflections capping off each line are a story themselves, without even translating. Following along with the English lyric sheet is a completely unique listening experience. We are treated to a haunting tale of a swamp beast in "Eclipse" --beautifully written, but it just wouldn’t have the same rhythmic flow if it were sung in English. Same goes for "Machine," an eloquent takedown of the system grinding us down (if you’re reading in English,) or simply a kickass desert bike riding song if you’re just jamming along with the vibes.
One of the first bands that got me into the stoner scene was Skraeckoedlan, who create their own unique brand of stoner with Swedish vocals over the familiar fuzz we all know and love. So I don’t think it's any coincidence that when the band switches to English vocals on "Dogs From Hell," it feels like they lose a bit of steam. It's still a heavy, catchy tune, but the songwriting lacks the complexity and charm the first two tracks carried. That said, the band caps things off nicely with the somewhat unexpected "Snake Mistress." The title fits in well with the theme, but the song itself is more of an instrumental exploration of the natural world and the boundaries beyond. Middle eastern vibes open up the track well grounded, before introducing some synth sounds, giving it an extraterrestrial atmosphere.
All in all, Green Hog Band's debut EP does exactly what it should. A quick sampling of what they have to offer, establishing a clear identity in their sound and hints at the further experimentation they may do on future projects. Green Hog Band have already confirmed a full length for later this summer, so they move quick, despite the pace of their riffs. It will be dropping through Fuzzy Cracklins Presents, and it's definitely a release I'll have bookmarked.
Green Hog Band - Green Hog EP was released May 11th, 2020 from Fuzzy Cracklins Presents
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!