Album Review – Mooch – Hounds

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I was going through some old photos saved on my computer when I came across one that I never posted. It brought back some good memories of the days of attending live concerts.  That very same day I got a message from Benjamin Cornell from Montreal’s Desert Rock band Mooch. He asked me if I would check out their new album “Hounds” that will be released on 04/20/20.  Yes, the date is intentional.

Sadly their March 14 show at Petite Campus had to be cancelled so we are going to have to wait to see them perform their new music live.  

“Hounds” was recorded in Twentynine Palms California and produced by Bubba Dupree and Brant Bjork (Kyuss) so it truly represents the Stoner Rock flavour.  

I listened to the 10 tracks a few times before attempting to write about it. I was genuinely impressed for a debut album.  They sounded even better than the last time I heard them play at Le Ritz when they opened for the Truckfighters. I had so many questions.

Before I even spoke with Ben, I knew that the order of the track listing was intentional and took great effort. The album starts off nice and slow, creating a sweet buzz that intensifies as it plays.  It captures the classic spirit of old vinyl records that were meant to be enjoyed from start to finish in its entirety.

  1.  “Mantra” sets  the tone for a psychedelic ride.  Ben’s vocals are stronger than ever as he invokes the spirit of Jim Morrison.  Dark moods and images are interwoven with his deep rich baritone.
  1. “She’s a Black Hole” explores themes of love and hate with a faster and fuzzier sound.  “It’s about losing yourself in someone”. (BC) 
  1. “Blues Man’s Face” reflects upon of angels and demons while providing a solid bluesy riff.
  1. “Lucid” is a delicate and soulful instrumental that allows you to drift away to your happy place for a very brief moment.  At 1.27 it’s the shortest track on the album.
  1. “Torn Up” has a seductive Zeppelin feel to it with heavy bass and drums.
  1. “Super Big Things” has a grunge sound that reminded me of Nirvana.
  1. “Giant Lady Fingers” has a real 70’s psychedelic vibe (Steppenwolf/the Doors).
  1. “Feel Good” also has a groovy 70’s vibe (Deep Purple).
  1. “Resident Sleeper” has a dark and heavy Black Sabbath sound.
  1. “Hounds” is my favorite track.  It is the most polished and interesting for so many reasons. It starts off soft and easy with a 12 string acoustic and then towards the end a a funky, electric Jimi Hendrix riff (Foxy Lady) takes over.

“Hounds” ends the album perfectly by tying together all the mystical and mythological essences that appear throughout each song.  

All the tracks except for “Hounds” were written during the three year period that the band was formed.  Mooch is Ben Cornel on lead guitar and vocals, Julian Iacovantuono on bass and vocals and Alex Segreti on drums and vocals.  

“Hounds came together at the very end.  It’s about the process of searching for the things you desire the most. “

Review – Annette Aghazarian

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