Mar 13, 2015

Houndmouth - Little Neon Limelight - 2015

Legend has it that when Rough Trade’s Geoff Travis first saw Indiana quartet Houndmouth at the SXSW festival, he offered them a deal on the spot. It’s easy to hear why: their songs are instantly euphoric. Exuberant opener Sedona sets the tone for this second album, matching the giddy, ethereal atmosphere of early Fleet Foxes with a killer Strokes riff and an invitation to “hop on in, in a stagecoach, baby, gonna take you for a spin”. Often and not unreasonably compared to the Band, they have a palette that stretches from rambunctious rock’n’roll to bruised country balladry. They’re blessed with two great singers in the Dylanesque Matt Meyers and the more classically country-styled Katie Toupin, and when the members’ four voices combine, they really sound like they are breaking loose from their moorings. At best – on the rollicking 15 Years or the shoutalong Say It – it’s classic Americana delivered with the raucous spirit and energy of the Faces or Slade. They may suddenly find their stagecoach getting rather full. G

Houndmouth are the kind of band you’ll fall in love with the first moment you hear them. They have tons of energy and that comes through on Little Neon Limelight. The first three tracks, “Sedona”, “Otis”, and “15 Years” is one of the strongest runs to open an album all year. The pace changes with the heartfelt “For No One” before cranking it back up with “Black Gold” and “Honey Slider”, my early favorite track on Little Neon Limelight. I also really dig “Say It”, a swingin’ and screamin’ rocker and the sweet closer, “Darlin'”. A definite thumbs up from me. the revue

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