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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Hounds - 1978 Unleashed
 
Hounds - 1978 Unleashed



ARTIST: Hounds
ALBUM: Unleashed
LABEL: Columbia
SERIAL: JC 35085
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: John Hunter - vocals, keyboards * Jim Orkis - guitars * Glen Rupp - guitars * Joe Cuttone - bass * John Horvath - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Drugland Weekend * 02 When The Boppers Turn To Rockers * 03 Bite The Dog * 04 Janine Tangerine * 05 I'll Be Your Magic Man * 06 Bad Blood Between Us * 07 Portrait Of A Dead Man * 08 Love Me Shove Me * 09 The Alleys Of Love


Background
With a name like the Hounds, you'd be thinking this lot were as rabid musically as the name would suggest. Well, that's not entirely true. From Chicago, these boys certainly know how to rock, but it is with a bit of panache that they do so. Led by singer/keyboardist John Hunter, Hounds mix up their sound in two parts: Primarily we get short and snappy workouts along the lines of fellow Chicagoans The Boyzz, The Who and the Rolling Stones, while on the other we get Meatloaf styled epic/operas. A mixed bag yes, but wind the clock back to 1978 and it's easy to see who was flavour of the month.


The Songs
John Hunter's slamming piano takes center stage throughout 'Drugland Weekend', the album opener shifting in all sorts of directions, but it's mainly an energetic rocker of near pomp-proportions. The lengthily titled 'When The Boppers Turn To Rockers' weaves an intricate story over a Meatloaf and Queen styled soundtrack. My guess is that this is not the band's usual kettle of fish, but it sure is different. Probably their representative sound shines through on 'Bite The Dog', and here you can hear Hunter throw a cap in the direction of Jagger and co. A bluesy rocker indeed. Why do I get the impression that Illinois was the center of the Power Pop universe back in the seventies? Perhaps that is a question for our intrepid Eric Abrahamsen to answer, but with a song like 'Janine Tangerine', the emphasis on power is all but assured. The pop bit is thrown in for good measure. 'I'll Be Your Magic Man' is a song where Hunter yet again lays down all his Mick Jagger mannerisms all in the space of 3 minutes flat. Taking a step further back in time is 'Bad Blood Between Us', which sounds like a remnant from the late sixties era a la The Who. Hounds return to the current '78 era with the swamp rock of 'Portrait Of A Dead Man', a case of transplanted southern rock all the way from Chicago. We don't get a lot of variation on 'Love Me Shove Me', the guitar strut and tight riffs vaguely reminiscent of early AC/DC perhaps, but it could be any number of bands from the glory days. The album closer 'The Alleys Of Love' is a licorice all-sorts type of song, touching on all the acts we've mentioned previously, but with piano, organ and guitars all duelling ferociously at the end. Going out with a 'bang' so to speak.


In Summary
For those of you with no prior knowledge of this band, then a safe bet would be to call these guys a hard rockin' equivalent of The Rolling Stones. Mostly it's quite raucous, the vocals and guitars are on the tough side, with piano and organ to round out the sound. John Hunter's dabble with Jagger is obvious, but at least the music is a bit more rockin' than those age-old geriatrics. CBS were quite enamoured with this lot, the label sticking around for another year with 1979's 'Puttin' On The Dog' album, which surprisingly, sounds nothing like this!


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Comments
#1 | vinyldinosaurus on February 11 2008 21:22:01
Puttin' On The Dog is superior to Hounds' debut and deserves a review here.
#2 | gdazegod on February 11 2008 21:25:32
I agree. Consider it done. Some of John Hunter's solo albums are also in the pipeline. Thanks for the memory jogger vinyl!
#3 | rkbluez on March 13 2010 20:49:36
A great album to me they had more of a Mott The Hoople kinda sound only a lot heavier...would like to see this and the great "Putting On The Dog" released by either Wounded Bird or Rock Candy...both of these Hound albums are as good or better than some of the stuff these two labels have been doing lately.
#4 | Eric on March 13 2010 21:38:56
Agree Stephen. Both albums are top notch and screaming for reissue.
#5 | sabace on June 28 2013 19:15:26
they sound at times like mott the hoople, bowie, jagger - decent enough lp
#6 | super80boy on September 09 2013 03:47:57
Entertaining album and I concur with the Mott The Hoople sound reference, it can be heard on a variety of songs. The blues tinged 'Bite The Dog' is a good melodic rocker. Their second and better of the two albums, ventured more into an AOR arena and it has a cool album jacket picture too boot.
 
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