HOOGHWATER - Hooghwater (Hooghwater Music)
Hooghwater play a heavy brand of rock a la Vanilla Fudge with psychedelic overtones. Sludgy riffs, keening guitar notes and a swelling feel make this an epic half-hour adventure.
Hooghwater's membership comes from Holland's hardcore and punk rock scenes. Drummer Ries Doms will be the name most easily recognised by I-94 Barflies as he was behind the kit for trans-Atlantic superband the Hydromatics and Dutch band Spades, but the founders are guitarist-vocalist Jozeph Meurs and guitarist Chris Blankers
Stoner rock often misses the mark for me but Hooghwater keeps a sense of melody in their music that sets them apart. Meurs and Blankers are a dynamic pairing and somewhat deserving veteran status in their hometown of Tillburg. Meurs tends to play a backseat role as singer but the hypnotic swell is the focal point on these songs anyway. A few could have done with a bit of a haircut, but brevity might be something the band turns its mind to when it comes to recording a full-length album.
"Knocked On Our Door" has the bold confidence of a band like TSOOL without the pop element. Over more than eight minutes it rolls along relentlessly, turning around on sudden tempo changes with a majesty all its own. "When They Arrive" is the other standout, breaking itself down and picking itself up over six-minutes. "Stole the Soul" is the most conventional rocker, "Burned Our City" another brooding slow burn.
An EP that's a grower and a band worthy of future close attention. - The Barman
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