REVIEW: HOGAN’S GOAT – “Hogan’s Goat”
Hogan’s Goat are odds on favorites to revitalize rock music through their super dank grooves and riffs of mighty stone. It seems fitting that the home of country music is the spawning ground for a band named after an obnoxious and smelly goat. The good news is that the debut album smells like a breath of fresh air in the stale shit house of rock.
Hogan’s Goat are Wayne Mitchel(drums), Donavan Bettise (guitar), Thomas Banks (guitar), Aaron Stoner (bass), and John Salmon (vocals). The band originally formed in 2014 and went by the name Jack Of The Ville. They changed their name to Hogan’s Goat while campaigning to fund their debut album of the same name. This is a great choice as the name captures the crafty sensibilities of their music.
‘Hogan’s Goat’ is a hard rock album with roots that stretch into southern rock and grunge while dabbling in progressive metal. Hogan’s Goat maintain an accessibility to their music through hook riddled riffs, head banging grooves, and punchy choruses. They stand out from the herd through crafty licks which raise an eyebrow and have you muttering “Damn! That feedback harmonic is sweet!” or “Listen to the boss swing that drum!”. Take for example “Rat Boy”. The overall song has a great groove with stoner heft. John Salmon’s vocals enjoy a gritty grunge quality for a bulk of the song, but then he switches things up with a high note during chorus. The psychedelic phased guitar ushers in a rewarding guitar solo that denies any cliché blues wanking in favor of a story within a story.
Other standout songs are “John Doe” with its sandpaper riffs and vocals. The frantic drum work of Wayne Mitchel combined with the tortured psychosis of Donovan Bettisse and Thomas Banks guitars make this song shine. The diamond on this album is the song “Over The Palisade”. The creative juices are slobbering out of the Goat’s mouth as they kick up the intensity and creativity. Hogan’s Goat does a masterful job of forging a swirling amalgam of riffs while retaining the essence of a straight up rock tune.
As much as I love the album by Hogan’s Goat, it is not without a couple of faults. Number one is the mix. The bass guitar of Aaron Stoner is completely lost which is probably a real shame given the talent of the band. The other problem is that while Hogan’s Goat throws many incredibly tasty treats into this album, there a few commercial duds that kill the momentum. “Annie Off The Rails” and “If I’m Dead” lack the sweet creative nuggets that make the album pop. I’m hopeful that the band continues to explore the unusual in favor of standard rehashed commercial rock.
Hogan’s Goat put an inventive spin on heavy music with their self-titled debut album. They have the potential to invigorate rock music with their outlandish creativity. Rock music needs bands like Hogan’s Goat to shake shit up and keep it smelling filthy. I just hope they can avoid the temptation of being pulled into the beige morass of commercial pop rock that is currently sucking the soul out of rock music.