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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Foghat - 2016 Under The Influence
Foghat - 2016 Under The Influence

ARTIST: Foghat
ALBUM: Under The Influence
LABEL: Foghat Records
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Charlie Huhn - vocals, guitar * Bryan Bassett - guitar * Craig McGregor - bass * Roger Earl - drums

Special Guests: Kim Simmonds - guitar * Nick Jameson - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Under The Influence * 02 Knock It Off * 03 Ghost * 04 She's Got A Ring In His Nose * 05 Upside Of Lonely * 06 Heard It Through The Grapevine * 07 Made Up My Mind * 08 Hot Mama * 09 Heart Gone Cold * 10 Honey Do List * 11 All Because Of You * 12 Slow Ride



Still hanging in there in 2016 is this version of Foghat, although barely it would seem, considering this latest album was entirely fan-funded through a Pledgemusic Campaign last year. This is their first album since 2010's 'Last Train Home' and the lineup has amazingly remained fairly stable, with bassist Craig McGregor returning to the band, having been a part of the bands glory days in the 70's, along with original drummer Roger Earl. Joining in on the fun is another former Foghat bassist, Nick Jameson, while Savoy Brown mainstay Kim Simmonds guests also. Those with long memories know of course Foghat evolved from Savoy Brown and in memoriam of this a couple of Savoy covers are tossed into the mix.

The Songs
If you read the review of the 2010 album here, then essentially nothing's changed sound wise. It's a set of blues inspired hard rock, with few similarities to classic Foghat, but at this point that's fairly redundant, as the original sound died with 'Lonseome' Dave Peverett. The band comes perilously close to outright plagiarism on 'Knock It Off' which is a total copy of AC/DC's 'Girl's Got Rhythm' right down to Huhn's vocal delivery and the blatant melodic passages. The title track is full of slide guitar and predictable sleazy mannerisms, but it's well-executed by the well-seasoned pros. 'Ghost' reminds me more of modern Lynyrd Skynyrd, with the Southern tinge in the sound giving it a country crossover appeal. The Savoy Brown covers of 'She's Got A Ring On His Nose' and 'Made Up My Mind' give Simmonds a chance to throw in some updated licks to these ancient boogie classics, sounding far more like traditional Foghat naturally. I'm not sure who decided a cover of 'Heard It Through The Grapevine' was a good idea, the utter staleness of the song earning it a rapid fast forward. 'Hot Mama' churns out some serviceable boogie riffs, but I'm less enamored with the funk of 'Honey Do List' which is dated cornball. In a strange turn of events 'All Because Of You' has an AOR feel, very 80's based, making me wonder if this is a cover of something I'm unaware of. A totally unnecessary cover of 'Slow Ride' serves as Jameson's guest spot, the cover offering nothing new, except to remind me how burned out I am of this song.

In Summary
While I admire the bands fortitude in making this album, it's all rather uninspiring overall. It's one of those albums I know I'll probably never listen to again, paling to what Foghat were a lifetime ago. At face value it's a solid set of hard rock, but something just doesn't click. All it does is make me want to throw on 'Stone Blue' or 'Energized.' At this stage it's a miracle the band exist in any form, so it shouldn't be taken for granted. Catch them at a fairground near you.

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#1 | rkbluez on July 08 2016 02:18:09
Not like the original Foghat but still a decent album of classic blues based rock with a good production...didn't mind this one at all.
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