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The Hoax - Sound Like This (1994)

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The Hoax - Sound Like This (1994)

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1. Lizard Like Me
2. Much Too Much
3. Scaramouche
4. Wake Me Up
5. Swallow My Pride
6. Twenty Ton Weight
7. Headless Chicken
8. Driving Blind
9. Head Neck
10. Don’t Bust A Valve
11. Take The Money And Run

Bass – Robin T. Davey
Drums, Congas – Dave Raeburn
Guitar – Jesse Davey, Jon Amor
Vocals, Harmonica – Hugh Coltman 

 

The british blues band “The Hoax”, sound authentically Texas Blues at times, ironic given the bands name. Discovered by Mike Vernon, who also produced this album, as well as working with Clapton and John Mayall, described the band as “The most exciting blues band I have seen for twenty years”. Judging by the output on this recording, it’s not hard to see, or hear even, why.

Hailing from Devizes, Wiltshire, the band in their early twenties, take tired old blues cliches and formulas, rework them and inject an edgier, more modern sound. Inspired by the rockier end of the spectrum of blues, favoured by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Red Devils, Robin Trower and Jeff Healey, the band play with such energy, enthusiam and youthful vigour, but it never descends into a free for all. These boys are all masters of their instruments and really know how to lay it down.

The proceedings begin with “Lizard Like Me”, featuring a pounding funky bass and drum intro, and a classic blues riff reworked to sound more up to date. Great vocals from Hugh Coltman on this. A good album opener but far from the best track on the album.

“Much 2 Much” is a heavy blues shuffle which also puts a modern twist on the standard blues turnarounds, and is one the best songs on the album. Featuring two great guitar solos from Jon Amor and Jesse Davey, who play very much in the Stevie Ray mould, and some nice harp from Coltman.

A funky blues number next “Scaramouche”, is actually one of my favourites, due to the feel good groove and superb singing. Special mention to Rob Davey on bass for nice funk and slap work.

Every good blues band worth its salt knows how a deliver a slow blues song and these boys do with style. “Swallow My Pride” is excellent with great harp and guitar solos, and more soulful vocals from Coltman.

“Twenty Ton Weight” is one the best songs on the album, and is funky blues number but much more rocking than “Scaramouche”. Great drumming from Dave Raeburn and more excellent harp.

Some of the tracks such as “Headless Chicken”, “Wake Me Up” and “Head Neck”, do not fare as well compared to the rest of the material. Whilst still excellently performed, it’s just that these seem like standard blues tracks and the other more modern flavoured songs stand head and shoulders above these.

The album finishes on the rockiest song “Take The Money and Run” and is a great way to end the proceedings.

“Sound Like This” is excellent, and remembering this is the bands debut album makes it even more impressive. The sheer energy and enthusiam with which they deliver their blues is infectious. If you like funky, rocking blues a la Stevie Ray Vaughan, then you will love this band. --- thehoax.co.uk

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