Hailing from Edmonton, Canada, Lucid Hounds are a Hardcore five piece who aren't afraid to tell it how it is and the four tracks on their 'Hounds' EP underlines the fact that they have a certain musical skill too.
Kicking off with a spoken intro, which sounds like it's taken from a film (though one that's certainly unfamiliar to me), which sets the scene for the aural assault that is 'Shotgun Mouthwash'. Teen angst mixed with high emotion serves this song well and the barrage of abuse that spouts forth from vocalist, Nick Odgen is quite extraordinary.
The oft repeated phrase of ''Bleed Till You're Dead' shows they aren't afraid to sing what they think in the great tradition of other Hardcore bands like Killswitch Engage and Hatebreed with perhaps a debt to bands like D.R.I. too.
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'Left Hook' continues the frantic pace with drummer Justin Smith showing a particular skill in timekeeping whilst the guitar riff from Jesse Berger drives the song onwards. Again, the lyrical content shows the under-lying emotions that give the band their inspiration.
When Ogden sings "...so you think I give a fuck about you. You don't know shit about me or what I been through. Bitch, I don't give a fuck about you. You never meant shit to me, so fuck you..." you really begin to emphathise with him and begin to wonder what caused such a rage in a young person - perhaps we'll never know, unfortunately.
'With Eyes' has a slightly different feel to it with the central guitar riff sometimes obscured by effects. The slightly slower middle section gives some respite from the fury of the rest of the song, whilst still managing to maintain a hardcore intensity. A nice bass (courtesy of Sam Jackson) and drum solo section also shows that the band are proficient in the playing and it's not all just bluster, before the track races towards it's conclusion.
Clocking in at around four and a half minutes, 'Count Me Out' closes the EP in fine style. Certainly my favourite track here, the song reverts to a more structured style than some of the others. The guitar riff from Jesse Berger is clear and well executed whilst drummer Smith gives his kit one final work out. Lyrically, it's less negative than some of the other tracks but vocalist Ogdens delivery is no less compromising that the previous tracks.
It's an interesting experience listening to the EP and certainly this seems like a band who are very much at the start of their career. Where they go from here is anyones guess, but they should really take a leaf out of the book of the thrash Metal titans, Slayer, and be true to themselves.
There's no compromise here at all and if the band can continue to create music like this and be able to bring them to a bigger audience, then all power to them.
Count Me Out
Lucid Skies are:
Nick Odgen - Vocals
Jesse Berger - Guitar
Sam Jackson - Bass
Justin Smith - Drums