EP Review: Last Hounds – Old Dreams

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When we met Midlands rockers Last Hounds last month they promised us “bigger and better” things were coming, a promise that has been realised with this week’s launch of new EP Old Dreams.

The four-track follow-up to last year’s eponymous debut EP is chocked full of the Midlands five-piece’s trademark hardcore punk meets old school hip-hop combination, with masses of energy, huge riffs and big choruses.

Ahead of the launch of the EP, the band told us: “We have spent a lot of time in between our last release and this one to really focus on where we wanted to take our sound, and we feel like Old Dreams really speaks for itself in that sense.

“It’s a much more mature sound compared to our last release, in terms of the production that has gone into it, but still has that recognisable Last Hounds vibe echoing from every chorus and riff. We’ve gone heavier at times to relay our aggression, and more melodic to give the fans something to sing along to, and we have definitely widened the box on the hip-hop influence too!”

That added aggression and enhanced production level is apparent in abundance as the band make a real statement with this second EP. It kicks off with a lone drumbeat that’s soon joined by rapped vocals and a few repeats of “I’m done with old dreams” on opening track (Listen) To Me. Ascending guitars come in as the track builds in intensity with more edgy, screamed repeats of “Listen to me” before ending on a big scream.

That leads into a fast-paced guitar riff and driving drums intro to Lay Me Down. There’s rapped vocals through a verse that you can’t help but bounce along to, before a funky guitar riff leads us into a singalong chorus. The second verse is bigger and shouted, and it’s all at breakneck pace until a brief musical interlude with big chunky guitar chords that’s smashed open with big shouted repeats of “Lay me down.” There’s another brief pause then a cry of “Lay me down, I deserve to hit the ground” before one final rendition of the chorus and then ending on a big smash of punk riffs.

Next up Murder, Murder opens up with a funky riff, then a heavier version of the same riff – which is sure to be a moshpit pleaser up and down the county – and a big scream, which ends with a bass riff which is soon joined by rapped vocals. A return of the riff breaks up the opening two rapped verses, before we’re launched into a big singalong chorus that culminates in “We’ll scream murder, murder.” The next chorus is followed by shouted vocals then choppy guitar riffs before launching into another rendition of the chorus, then a return of the opening riff to conclude the track alongside big screamed vocals.

The EP’s final track DOA is possibly my favourite. It opens up with a funky riff that launches into a bigger rock-out ahead of a shouted opening verse with big punky riffs and loads of cymbals in support. A singalong chorus follows, then a slight drop of the pace before a rapped verse with gradually building heavy guitars and leads into a repeat of the big chorus. More intense rapped vocals follow and leads into a mini musical interlude, a brief lull with clean vocals of “We are the DOA” that is smashed open by a final rendition of the chorus and a heavy guitar outro. Check it out now in the video below:

Old Dreams is an excellent follow-up effort, with big guitar riffs and catchy choruses wrapped up in an awesome rap-meets-rock punk sound.

The EP is out on Friday (19 May) and you can catch Last Hounds on their UK-wide tour later this month, starting at Eiger Studios in Leeds on 26 May and taking in Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, London and more. Check out all their tour dates here.

You can follow Last Hounds on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, and you can get hold of their music on Spotify and Bandcamp.

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