Midlands quintet Last Hounds made a colourful splash onto our scene last year with their livewire self-titled EP. A short and sharp effort, it’s cartoon-like energy and sporadic song structures made it an engaging set of tracks, all of which appropriately snarled like a caged hound.
And while the first EP was all fun and games, the band return with bigger intentions on follow-up, ‘Old Dreams.’ Doomsday-awaiting intro track ‘Listen to Me’ diverts listeners from any sense of lightheartedness with burgeoning synth drums and a smokey wall of guitars. ‘I’ve got a list of people who throughout my life, if they had the choice, they had the voice, they’d probably see me die,’ frontman Mikey Skelcher proclaims over these dark beats, giving all listeners a chance to say ‘Oooh you’re hard.’
Faux-tough guy anecdotes aside, Skelcher’s presence is a defining feature of ‘Old Dreams’ and adds a character lacking in contemporaries like Vant and Otherkin. You can feel it in his loutish delivery on the chorus in ‘Lay Me Down’, where you can picture phlegm spraying crowds as he sings raspily over its massive AFI-inspired riff. The real standout here is closer ‘D.O.A’ which provides punchy stabs of hooks and group chants of ‘We are the D.O.A, coming to find you,’ which demonstrates the development in grandeur between EPs.
While some of the chants and rap verses across ‘Old Dreams’ come off as a little cheesy and overplayed, the conviction Last Hounds put into their performance makes this a worthy listen. It keeps the animated energy of the first EP and fits it into songs guaranteed to stay in your head. The best is yet to come, but what he have at the moment is solid.
‘Old Dreams’ EP by Last Hounds is released on May 19th.
Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)