Other than that there are three of them and they are based in Edinburgh, I know bugger all about HOSEMOX. This EP came direct from the band, so there is no fancy-dan Press sheet for reference and guidance. Which can be a good thing actually, as there are no preconceived ideas as to what is expected.
I may be wrong in my assumption, but it sounds like the band are either from the Scottish Highlands, or at least part inspired by the vocal intonations of the ‘traditional’ folk-based music from that region. Which then by definition should mean that I wouldn’t like this six-track EP.
But not so……this is ‘folk’ music shouted rather violently rather than lilted rather limply and is really quite excellent!
Actually, I shouldn’t really refer to this music as ‘folk’ in any way as it could be quite misleading. Opening track ‘All His Life,’ is an aggressive piece of music with a constantly rumbling bass line and deep, resonating guitar giving more of a ‘grunge’ feel to the music. There are some lovely little off kilter, quirky guitar hooks thrown in for good measure and plenty of shouted vocals, which with their rather unusual delivery give the song an entirely original feel.
‘Slave,’ is straight out the Great Grunge Songbook. Again, I can give no other bands as direct reference points because the vocal delivery is so unusual. There is a strong ‘Scottish’ feel to it all which could work both for and against the HOSEMOX, but because it does not fall – or come anywhere near – the ‘twee’ trap that so often snares those choosing to sing in their natural Scottish accent, I’d say that it’s a case of the former.
‘Take Me To Paradise’ is more down the ballad route and at four and a half minutes is the longest track on the EP. This one’s principally acoustic, with some hushed, brushed drumming and lovely harmonies, and after the false ending (whoops, sorry – didn’t mean to spoil the surprise) the song sparks back into life with some beautiful, swirling organ sounds for the final couple of minutes.
‘The Corporate Machine,’ features a repeated heavy riff, shouted vocals and a gritty, determined, plodding pace. You kind of get the impression of a badass armoured vehicle slowly moving towards you, riding roughshod over anything that dares to obstruct its advance.
‘Shopping,’ is again bass-led. Deep, dark and threatening with a bit of a searing guitar solo towards the end. ‘Monkey,’ closes the EP. This is pure class – right up my punk street. “Monkey! Give me a banana!” it goes. I need say no more. If even only for the one minute and forty-two seconds of this track, you should search out this EP!
(Released 21st February – details from www.myspace.com/hosemox )