Band: The Hÿss
Genre: Stoner Metal
Country: United States
Release Date: June 7th, 2019
This record drew me in for a couple of reasons. First, the cover. I’m still not entirely sure what it is, but it looks like a Brainsucker, a Mind Flayer, or something in that vein; and I dig that. Second, the labels for this album on Bandcamp include the term “fuzz rock” which I had never heard of and wanted to check out. It’s a short release so I wasn’t expecting too much, but I was pleasantly surprised by this little album.
Hound lives up to its fuzz rock name and delivers some great stoner metal songs along the way. It kicks off with Ranger Grave whose first word is literally “boom.” I found that delightfully campy and was sold on it right away. The track has a meaty riff that pounds away for a couple of minutes before breaking into this awesome groove in the middle of the song. This, in turn, coasts into some interesting guitar embellishments that serve as an interlude to reintroduce the first riff, and one more “boom.” While I dig this song a lot, I think the lyrics are rather vapid. The song is essentially a patriotic power fantasy and I just found it to offer nothing of substance lyrically. Thankfully, this is the only song I felt had poor writing on it.
The next song, Eaten by Dogs, is definitely the most peculiar on the album. The lyrics paint a rather gruesome image of being mauled to death by a pack of dogs, interlaced with some metaphysical musings. There are also references to feeling abandoned by the “galactic father,” which seemed rather fitting given the subject matter. Musically it starts with similar fuzzed out guitars and bass to the intro, but then it transitions into the stoner metal equivalent of an early 2000s alternative rock song. The song does this twice, and it’s almost disorientating, but it actually kept me more engaged in the song.
Another interesting tone shift occurs with Off With Their Heads. It begins with shouts leading into some sick stoner shredding. This song is an absolute banger, and peaks with a nice solo around the 1:20 mark, which is reincorporated well when the rest of the instrumentation comes back in. The song closes nicely too, with a more lowkey musical passage
The penultimate song, Gold Tooth Ding, is also my favorite. It’s another stoned out banger with a delicious layer of sleaze laid onto it. While it is the shortest song, at under two minutes, it still gives off a great energy. Lyrically, the track is vague, but I got the impression that it was about a shady figure who has their own unique ways of getting what they want. I especially love the mention of a “greased handshake,” on this track. It’s a description I can feel, and it makes me aptly uncomfortable.
Closing the album, Ghost Army returns to the themes of war, but in a more appropriate manner. I love the screeching guitars and bizarre soundscape at the end of this track. However, I do think this is the least interesting song on the album. It isn’t a bad track, but the first two and a half or so minutes are rather dull. It does make up for it with that great final minute though.
This was a really good project. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and delivers some great stoner bangers. I would be interested to hear more in the future from The Hÿss too. While I would have liked more diversity in the instrumentals, the brevity of this record kept that from being a real problem. I only take issue with parts of songs, and each track has at least something great about it. Hound is punchy, memorable, and just overall kicks ass.
- Ranger Grave
- Eaten by Dogs
- Off With Their Heads
- Gold Tooth Ding
- Ghost Army
Total Playing Time: 15:46