Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Hong Faux - The Crown That Wears The Head
'You like Hong Faux don't you? Sure you do. Here's the stream of the whole album."
"Hong who? Never heard of 'em."
I figured I should give Hong Faux a chance, even though I didn't really want to. See, I played the video included in my email and I wasn't too impressed, but I learned long ago not to judge a band by the single that management, or whoever, decides to release. It's usually not the heaviest song on the album and it's almost always my least favorite.
Fast forward to today. After listening to the eight tracks from their debut, The Crown That Wears The Head, I can now say that yes, I do like Sweden's Hong Faux. I just think they should've released a different song to promote the 34-minute album.
Don't get me wrong, "Feign Death to Stay Alive" is a decent rock song, and the album title is included in the lyrics, but it's just not a heavy track and it pretty much disappointed me. It starts out with huge bass licks and I think I'm in for a treat, but a few seconds later I realize that I won't be bangin' my head or shakin' my ass at all. I think the vocals and chorus are the best parts of the song.
Enough about what I don't really care for. Let's get to the good stuff. Vocals are superb throughout the whole album and the production is top-notch. This is one tight, talented four-piece rock group that combines sweet melodies and soaring vocals with some heavy riffs. And they do it well. I think Hong Faux could easily be heard on radio stations across America if someone gave them a chance.
Upbeat and rockin', and without much prettiness, "Present Tense-Less", is a great start to the album and it's probably my favorite. It's a short, toe-tapping delight with a great guitar solo. And a cowbell. i've told you before that I'm a sucker for a cowbell.
A light melody on "Hit Hard Hit First" builds into a strong, powerful and memorable chorus, and ends with some grungy guitar riffs. "Bad City Blues" has some of the heaviest guitars and the best solo on the whole album and it's another choice track.
"Deathmatch" is another up-tempo, guitar-driven gem and "Pearlgarden" ebbs and flows with crushing riffs. Yeah, I'm glad I gave these guys a chance.
It's definitely not too heavy, and it's plainly not too light. Some rock music fans might say The Crown That Wears The Head is just right. It's not what I'd usually listen to, but I can't dismiss the talent.
You can buy the album at the group's Bandcamp page, where it's initially available exclusively on vinyl.