There’s certainly a Sheffield connection going on with this band. Their first three singles were all produced by Richard Hawley, lately a sixth member of Pulp and an established solo artist in his own right. The rest of the album, Hoggboy’s first, is produced by Chris Thomas, who has produced for Pulp in the past. So they’re another northern guitar band, right?
Well, no, actually. If you think they’re going to sound quintessentially Sheffield, the opening tracks Left & Right and Upside Down will dispel such notions in favour of positive comparisons with The Stooges and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
The reason being that they sound like they’ve just wrapped up the whole New York punk-rock scene and tuned it for individuality. All the singles, Shouldn’t Let The Side Down and Upside Down included, have bags of energy and sound a million miles away from the world of the contrived.
And while the rest of the guitar bands, from BRMC to The Coral, all sound like they’ve considered a formula for success before embarking on the right poses, this lot sound like they’ve stuck a few leads into sockets and hoped for the best.
The production keeps hold of the raw sound the band generate throughout – not for Hoggboy are fancy ProTools audio effects, just straightforward representation of what they can do. They can get you involved in music. Dare you to listen and not love.