Wednesday, July 12, 2017

HAIR OF THE DOG - This World Turns (2017)

HAIR OF THE DOG - This World Turns (2017) full

One band who have slowly been making waves on what amounts to an underground scene have been HAIR OF THE DOG, a Scottish classic rock trio who will be releasing their new album "This World Turns" in a few days.
Honing their skills through numerous sweaty gigs, probably playing just for petrol and beer as is the sad state of rock and roll these days, "This World Turns" finds themselves at a rather confident peak. Road-tested and bled over, the album amounts to nothing more than a clarion call of triumph.
Still looking for that great UK classic rock band? Look no further.

Hair Of The Dog's style take as reference classic hard rock bands such as Thin Lizzy, Nazareth, UFO, but also some early '80s British metal plus a pinch of psych.
Opener, title track 'This World Turns' is divided in three parts, a riff fest fronted by the soulful vocals of Adam Holt which soon develops into an extended rolling riff, taking in a whole nime minutes.
It’s a full on revival of the early sound of NWOBHM, not metal but its more hard rockng side. Melodic but heavy, it hints at an aim for world domination.

‘Keeping Watch Over The Night’ is a classic rocker laid claim to by the thudding bass of Iain Thompson, and more than matched by Adam's brother, Jonathan Holt on drums. It’s a tight rhythm section, unfussy but always ready to throw in a few neat flourishes as the yearning vocals guide you ever on.
What really stands out is the expansiveness of the sound though, with a production which belies it’s underground roots for something a lot more universal.

After all that feel for something long gone, ‘Ctrl-Alt-Delete’ brings a more modern edge, albeit in name only. It works well as a way of adding depth to the album although it does tend to stick out a bit from the previous two tracks.
That feeling is soon put to rest with ‘The Colours In Her Skin’ whose harmonic guitar chime turns into one of those excellent riffs which simply begs to be head-banged to. There’s a distinct loose feel about it too which stems from the bluesy vocals, giving an added dimension again.

HAIR OF THE DOG - This World Turns (2017) inside

‘In Death’s Hands’ slows the pace somewhat as the riffs take a break for a more subdued sound. This soon expands deliciously as orchestral synths open the song out on to a different level.
This carries on into the quiet opening of final track ‘4AM’ with its semi-talked vocals against a backdrop of pouring rain bringing to mind thee band's Scottish origins. This soon comes to a stop with a gigantic guitar sound whilst the drums and bass keep the whole thing ticking along. It’s spacious but huge, and devastating to listen to as once again those wonderfully passionate vocals lead us on. By the time the guitar solo comes in you’re fully in their grasp.

Whilst the industry will no doubt dither and perhaps continue to moan the lack of decent rock bands in the UK, Hair Of The Dog have proved with 'This World Turns' that there is still life in the old “dog” yet.
Through its fiery riffs, soulful vocals, and belief, you can sense this young band is ready for bigger things. Whether that happens depends on luck these days, but this music deserves to be heard by a wider audience, and Hair Of The Dog should be looking at main stage slots for all major rock festivals.
Regardless of that outcome, what we have here is one of the best vintage heavy rock albums from a UK indie act for quite some time.

1. This World Turns
2. Keeping Watch Over The Night
3. Ctrl-Alt-Delete
4. The Colours In Her Skin
5. In Death's Hands
6. 4 AM

Adam Holt - vocals, guitar
Iain Thomson - bass
Jon Holt - drums

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