Over the past few years the Australian shoegazing scene has produced an amazing wealth of talent, spanning every corner of it’s awe inspiring continent. From Sydney to Adelaide, Perth to Brisbane, we all know that ‘the scene that celebrates itself ‘ is alive and well in Australia. But there is one city that stands out from all others! It seems to me that every single Australian based shoegaze band that I have come across these days hail’s from this city alone! To me, Melbourne has produced some of the best post-punk, noise-rock & shoegaze infused artists over the past 24 months than any other city that I can think of. Bands such as Contrast, VHS Dream, Hideous Towns, Flyying Colours, Lunaire, Glaciers & Luna Ghost have created some amazingly beautiful blissed out tracks that I have played religiously on my online radio show ‘The Primal Radio Show’ for Radioactive//Underground.
But there is one Melbourne based band, that to me, epitomises a 60’s fuzzy psychedelic sound & not only connects 80’s atmospheric post-punk to early 90’s gaze but who also adds a modern edge to their sound to create an addictive, reverb soaked, maelstrom of layered effects and beautiful melodies that would grace any soundtrack to a modern day musical audience. That band are – ‘Bloodhounds On My Trail’.
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Reading the bands intro up on their Bandcamp page instantly sold me to their musical ideas – ‘A love of shoegaze bands of the late 1980’s to early 90’s provided the catalyst for the formation of the band. Since then, members Johnny Green (guitar, vocals), Chris Donaldson (guitar), Jonny O’Hara (bass) and Nik Donaldson (drums) have sought to fuse the rhythmic underpinnings of bands like the Velvet Underground and the Stooges with the dream haze of Cocteau Twins and Slowdive’.
Released on the 14th October 2014, Engineered by Matt Hosking & Mixed by Rob Long at Birdland Studios & Los Bomberos, Escape is another of those EP’s that has come straight out of left field and completely captivated me from the very first listen! I am instantly a fan of this band’s sound. I spent my teenage years listening to some of the sounds that influence Bloodhounds On My Trail, such as Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, Ride, Jesus & Mary Chain, Stooges, MC5 & The Velvet Underground. I can hear every single one of those influential bands on this EP and that, for me, is a special thing! It’s a really special thing in todays new wave of shoegaze!
The EP kicks off with the stunning ‘Old Fools’. This is the doorway into a world where dreams are collected and played back via the medium of shoegazing! The intro to this song alone will send shivers down your spine and leave you floating in ethereal space. It is 5 minutes 36 seconds of beautiful, blissed out sounds that hit you in waves with their thundering drums and thriving bass lines! The guitar’s alone on this track remind me of a Cheetah stalking it’s prey! They swirl around the tracks moving parts with menace and pounce with speed when the immense vocal arrangements fall away & let the guitars dictate the space! This track will force the breath from your lungs it is that intense! But please, don’t take my word for it. Go and check it out for yourself –
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‘Dreamless’, the second track on Bloodhounds On My Trail’s impressive debut EP, takes your hand and guides you through a blissful soundscape of shoegaze. It open’s up into another stunning track and I’m starting to think that this band alone will cross divides and open the genre of shoegazing and its many sub-cultures up to a wider audience. This is yet another beautiful track with a wall of sound that evokes an ethereal almost dreamlike feeling. I love it when a band can unlock feelings from it’s listeners or when the music that a band creates can tap into a feeling & force you to remember good times! Bloodhounds On My Trail have a knack of teasing out memories, but in a good way!
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Track 3, ‘Jolly’, is a shoegaze traditionalist’s wet dream! This track could have been plucked from 1989/1990. It’s the closest track that I have heard resembling anything from that era in this modern day shoegazing world. It is stunningly beautiful. This is shoegazing on a cinematic scale. Swirling guitars blended with that amazing bass sound, those steady drums & Johnny Green’s infectious vocals make this track a ‘Stand Out’ track for me and one that every single fan of the shoegaze genre of music should have on repeat. This should be the ‘go to’ track for future shoegaze fans. To have mastered a sound so infectious on a debut EP deserves major props to Bloodhounds On My Trail. I doubt even the inner sanctum of shoegaze aficionados would disagree with me when I say – ” This is shoegaze! “
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A soothing intro heralds the angelic arrival of the closing track on the already impressive 4 track EP. ‘Silence, It’s Golden’ is yet another shining example of pure unhinged shoegaze! The wall of layered guitars & effected vocals hits you like a steam train. The chorus on this track is absolutely stunning with its addictive chord change, pounding drums and immense vocal all sitting on top of a steady beat. This is a fitting end, to what I believe, is a game changer for fans of the shoegaze genre. This is one hell of a release! Check it out below –
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This listener is captivated by the sounds that Bloodhounds On My Trail achieve on this EP. The song structures and musicianship are second to none! The ‘Escape EP’ catapults you into a dream where gravity holds no sway! You float with ease on a sonic wall of reverb infused guitars, pulsating bass lines & amazing vocal tones. It’s an immensely beautiful, sleek body of work with clean lines and wonderful arrangements. This EP is an out of body experience that I will continue to tap into again & again & again.
Del Chaney – The Primal Music Blog – January 2015 – Dublin, Ireland
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