Jesse & The Hogg Brothers Release New Album
The status quo in pop has never welcomed experimentation with open arms, but for the true rough riders in music like Jesse & The Hogg Brothers, something as trite as the status quo has never really had an impact on the innovating they get behind. The band’s new cowpunk delight Get Hammered is a testament to their rebellious ways, and if you’ve yet to take a peek at what the thirteen-song tracklist has in store for listeners this year, I’d recommend you do so as soon as possible. Whether it’s the smoky distortion of “We’re All in This Together” or the punky patriotism of “America,” this is a record that is guaranteed to leave even seasoned audiophiles intrigued.
You can tell that Jesse & The Hogg Brothers aren’t experimenting in “Love Buckets” or “Texas Hammer” simply for the sake of fitting in with a swelling trend in indie country; if anything, they’re doing everything in their power to reject the limits of any trends inside of their compositional attack. Instead of putting everything on a country-style harmony in this material, they’re letting the attitude of the lyrics shape the core narrative of Get Hammered, which is a challenge that a lot of their peers would unquestionably shrink from.
These guitar tones are some of the more ominous of any to make their way onto a Hogg Bros. LP, but in songs like “Hogg Tail Twist” and lead single “Santa’s Got a Bag of Coal,” they’re so controlled that they’re never given the ability to drown out the other elements in the mix. Clarity matters even when you’re trying to employ components of atonal white noise into an otherwise typical harmony, and we’re reminded of this repeatedly in these tracks. If there were any critics accusing this group’s sound of being detail-free before Get Hammered, I think they’re going to be set straight here.
I think it’s rather obvious when listening to “Onion Ring,” “Cream Gravy,” the introductory “The Hammer” and “Wait a Minute” that there’s more to this group’s style than simply mashing together the edgier parts of punk and country in a single sound. The songwriting in these particular songs alludes to influences from folk, alternative Americana, and even western pop that haven’t yet received their due spotlight in Jesse & The Hogg Brothers’ discography, and in Get Hammered, they’re made to flourish in a way that left me really eager to hear what these player are going to produce next.
If you weren’t listening to Jesse & The Hogg Brothers before Get Hammered or hadn’t even heard of their music, this latest album presents the right combination of songs to make a fan out of you in just under forty minutes’ time. Though not the most stripped-down look you could create as a cowpunk outfit, this is a band that knows who they are and have perfected the kind of music they want to be known for, and if that isn’t something worth writing home about in 2021, I don’t know what is.