RevelationZ magazine HOG album Rise and Shine review, Denmark
RevelationZ magazine, Denmark:
Estonian band HOG's melodic rock can't help but pick up the contemporary rock mannerism, with sporadic low slung chords scattered among the stuttering riffs, and an organic production touch blurring the well defined edges.
But in the main, this is unarguably eighties in attitude and tone. Keyboards soar and sigh alternately, guitars surge and spike tunefully, chord progressions resolve satisfactorily and there are plenty of strong, sweet harmonies texturing the songs.
Vocalist Erik Meremaa's agile, expressive vocals betray only the merest hint of an accent. His voice reminds me a lot of Patrick (PFR) Andrew's in timbre and intonation, especially on the album's pivotal, seven minute track, 'Spanish Man'. Lyrically very dark, this song appears to be a denunciation of Hernan Cortez, the Spanish conquistador who invaded Mexico and defeated the Aztecs.
Additionally, the powerful, driving 'Schizophrenia' could quite easily have come off PFR's 'Them' album. Elsewhere, the template spins around ringing, abrasive riffs, thudding bass lines and keyboards that float in and out as the mood requires - '24' and 'Dreaming' both recalling Phantom's Opera and Shotgun Symphony, circa their groundbreaking 'Forget The Rain' album.
Throughout, HOG show an energy and a vitality that grace eleven compelling performances. Their music plays to melodic rock's glorious past without sounding overly derivative and never resorts to cliche. The majestic 'My Child' and the sinuously melodic 'Evil In Needle', to name but two, demonstrate that the band have a good handle on the finer points of the genre, as well as a firm grasp of the basics.
'Rise And Shine' is as good a debut as I've heard in quite a while.
Rating: 7/10, Written by Brian, 2007