We seem to have had an influx of new music at ATTIWLTMOWOS lately and it's always fun to review something by someone I'd never previously heard of. Devil Gone Public are one such band. Based in Sarasota, Florida they play a mix of Southern/Stoner metal and Groove Metal with touches of Metalcore, Nu-Metal, Sludge and Grunge all thrown in. Listening through Smokehound I can hear elements of several other band sin their sound, Corrosion Of Conformity, Alice In Chains, Down and even Killswitch Engage sometimes. Vocalist Garrett Moore has a voice that sounds like a blend of Phil Anselmo and the late Ben McMillan from Skin Yard/Gruntruck. Bit of a lazy comparison I guess but I hear both of them in there.
Æther Way is the opening track and also the lead single from Smokehound. It's based around an awkward, lurching riff and boasts a great, singalong chorus. It's a strong, energetic opener and I can see why it's been picked as the single.
The next track is slower but still full of energy. Euthanation chugs and bounces along and is the first track to really feature Garrett's screamier side The riff of Euthanation is pure Stoner Rock but Garrett's screams are more Metalcore. Again, there's another strong chorus in this song. and the slow, stop start crunch that Euthanation finishes with is effective.
Satan, Hold My Hand is the fastest and heaviest song so far. it roars along and features an air guitar worthy solo halfway through. It's a brutal song that leads straight into the rolling, repetitive riff of the title track. As you might be able to guess Smokehound leans towards their Stoner Rock side both musically and lyrically. There's a lot of mention of drugs. I've found myself singing the chorus line of "C'mon kid, light it up" a fair bit at work tonight.
Blood Debt is a frenetic, chaotic burst of aggression that features some incongruous slide guitar courtesy of Jake Duncan of Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster. Blood Debt is, without doubt, the heaviest thing on Smokehound but still engaging and catchy.
Following that is Poison The Well which, I assume, isn't about the Metalcore band. It's a song of revenge and retribution and is just a straight up metal song. It reminds me of Beyond Magnetic era Metallica in places. There's an occasional Metal squee that crops up too, which is nice.
Chillin, Killin is a relentless Metal chugger, full of excellent riffs though it's lack of apostrophe's irks me greatly. Language Of Fear starts promisingly. It's a long, slow, pounding intro that gradually builds with intensity until after 1 1/2 minutes the main song starts but rather than being the massive explosion of power I'd been anticipating it just sort of starts. The vocals are all distorted too which lowers any impact it might have had further. Disappointing.
It's a minor irritation however, and one that's soon rectified with the albums final track, Galactic Amnesia. It's a fantastic song with another satisfying riff and memorable chorus. I think the extra vocals on this, and also on previous songs, are handled by bassist James Hyde, his voice works well with Garrett's and he adds a nice touch to the songs.
Smokehound is a fine debut with several high quality songs, it's perhaps a little short with only nine songs but that's a minor quibble. As I said there are echoes of other bands in their sound but not to the point of plagarism. Indeed, they've developed a sound of their own in any case. I look forward to hearing more.
8 out of 10 - Oh, Now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
Best Track: Euthanation
You can visit the bands website HERE
You can buy Smokehound from Amazon HERE
You can listen to it on Spotify HERE