Thursday, September 17, 2015
Fogg – High Testament
Like, if you haven't heard these guys before, stop reading right now and go listen. It's totally cool, I'll wait. Although, if you really get into the head trip that is waiting for you, it might take you a while to get back to this review. Again, I'm totally cool with that.
I've said before that one of the coolest things about writing these reviews and finding music for my radio shows is that from time to time I stumble upon an absolute gem such as this. Sometimes a band or an album, or in this case, both, just hit that sweet spot so well, and keep hitting it for the length of the album, that you just keep listening. It feels like something is missing when you don't have that album playing. This album does all of that and more for me.
I really dig singer/bassist/acoustic guitarist Brandon Hoffman's voice. It is very reminiscent of Ray Davies of The Kinks in some respects, and the way he uses it to express the lyrics is a wonderful thing to hear. Chase Jowell on electric guitar can play it heavy, or melodic, whatever the songs need, and his solos just need to be heard. Drummer Ethan Lyons fits in well with the trio format and is always right where he needs to be in each song.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, I absolutely love this album. It is wonderful to hear musicians playing a style and genre that has been around for a while, and yet own it and make it their own. I'm not sure how old these gents are, but you could take them back in time 45 years and put them on the stage at the Fillmore, and they would be right at home. They are just as bold and original as the bands that played back in the those days, and they sound so great now. If psychedelic rock is something you enjoy, you must give this one a listen. Just be prepared that one listen may become two, and may become an entire evening unwrapping all the aural goodness here. This is a feast for the ears and the mind.
If you are in any way a fan of psychedelic rock, this album will be your jam for the foreseeable future. Every single touch point of the genre is here, all uniquely bound up in something that is completely original. You like some heavy, psychedelic riffs that just go on forever and leave you nodding along with a goofy grin on your face? They're here. You like some pastoral, gentle acoustic jamming? Fogg's got it. Virtuosic and trippy guitar jams and solos? Hell yeah. As I said, this is all the good stuff, all in one place. The songs wind about and insinuate themselves into your brain. Soft, hard, heavy, gentle, straight ahead rock or tunes that are tripped the fuck out, all of that and more is here and waiting for you.