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Groundhogs – Hogwash (1972)

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Groundhogs – Hogwash (1972)

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01. I Love Miss Ogyny -	5:24
02. You Had A Lesson - 5:53
03. The Ringmaster - 1:23
04. 3744 James Road - 7:18
05. Sad Is The Hunter - 5:19
06. S'one Song - 3:35
07. Earth Shanty - 6:50
08. Mr.Hooker, Sir John  - 3:34					play
Bonuses:
09. Rolling And Tumbling (Joanne Kelly/McPhee) - 2:29	play
10. Death Letter - 4:13
11. Me And The Devil Blues - 3:52
12. No More Doggin' - 3:49 

Personnel:
- Tony McPhee - guitar, acoustic guitar, Mellotron, synthesizer, vocals
- Peter Cruickshank - bass
- Clive Brooks – drums

 

Hogwash falls somewhere in between the Groundhogs' raw, blues-meets-electric rock sound of the late '60s and early '70s, and the less enthusiastic material that followed. It initiates more of a fundamental prog rock sound, with Tony McPhee's guitar work (along with a smattering of keyboard bits) taking on some well-maintained aggression. The album is the first for the former Egg drummer Clive Brooks, replacing Ken Pustlenik who left after 1972's Who Will Save the World album, while bass player Peter Cruickshank dishes out some of the group's better bottom-heavy riffs. But, even with a hearty progressive foundation in place, the material from Hogwash has a hard time competing with 1970's Thank Christ for the Bomb or the conceptual Split album, which came out a year later. "Earth Shanty" and "S'one Song" aren't overwhelming, but the defined British blues sound coming from McPhee's guitar playing on "I Love Miss Ogyny" makes up for them. "You Had a Lesson"'s energy comes from the erratic time signatures, while the one minute and 25 seconds of "The Ringmaster" is caught up in a psychedelic, space rock ride. "3744 James Road" is pure Groundhogs, rumbling along with a slightly tainted blues chug, and accompanied by an unrefined vocal pounce. The band's inattentiveness begins to show up on "Sad Is the Hunter," "Mr. Hooker, Sir John," and infrequently throughout the albums last few tracks, with the genuine spunk and organic feel of the instruments losing their ruggedness. While Hogwash isn't their most solid album through and through, it has more fruitful moments than ineffective ones, and it still stands as the Groundhogs' last worthy release. 1974's Solid and both releases from 1976, Crosscut Saw and Black Diamond, show the band's evident dispersal from their original sound. ---Mike DeGagne, AllMusic Review

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