Music Review: Houndmouth delivers on sophomore effort

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Posted: Mar 16, 2015 11:23 AM
Music Review: Houndmouth delivers on sophomore effort

Houndmouth, "Little Neon Limelight" (Rough Trade Records)

Get on the Houndmouth bandwagon while you can. This band is going places.

The four-piece band's sophomore effort, "Little Neon Limelight," is so full of taut songwriting, engaging harmonies and hypnotic playing that it warrants comparisons to the legendary group The Band.

Houndmouth, like The Band, effortlessly shifts from organic songs that sound like they grew straight up from the earth and were just waiting for someone to pick, to straight-out rockers that beg to be turned up to 11.

They can also dial it back for plaintiff ballads like "For No One" and "Gasoline," displaying a range that makes it hard to believe they've been together for less than five years.

All four members of Houndmouth share vocals, with keyboardist Katie Toupin stealing the show on the standout track "Otis" about the death of Otis Redding. And on "My Cousin Greg," Houndmouth taps into a road weariness that's also a central part of The Band's ethos: "If you want to live the good life," they sing, "then you'd better stay away from the limelight."

Houndmouth's "Little Neon Limelight" more than deserves the limelight.

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