Just when you fear the Hammer horror roller coaster ride you are strapped to is about to become even darker, the party starts, the mood lightens and the dance hall fire doors are kicked open. Now it’s all skinny jackets and Rayban wrap rounds – it’s post ska, ska time baby, step inside!
‘Roll Up for the Crazy Sound of Hogchoker’ chucks everything into the psycho mash up of input and influences; Balkan folk of the turbo fuelled variety, post-punk sneers, snappy funk rhythms, operatic outbursts. Amidst all this genre blending, bending and splicing, Hogchoker have managed to pull off a blinder. Yes, it really works. The mixing will leave you in a state of gob smacked joy. Whoever thought opera baritone (Hands in the Air) could so wittily and seamlessly segue into punk-dancehall-salsa?
Beneath the music hides a bubbling contempt, rising to the surface in the lyrics of songs such as Shoot the Poets, lamenting the suppression of free speech around the world, or Annie Get Your Skates On about the state sanctioned murder of Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya. The polemics lay bare a visceral, nay, primal despair in what passes for truth in our current climate, the manipulation that lurks under every stone. This brand of fulminating nihilistic rage, of course, fits most squarely with the band’s explicit post punk credentials.
Oh, but there is a major irony here. The music they produce, spookily dark in places, wild outbursts of fury in others, is simultaneously so celebratory, so joyous, so perversely life affirming – Hogchoker you made me almost cry with joy and then dance some more around my kitchen island.
So, yes it is layered, yes it rich, yes it is textured and yes, frankly bloody fabulous.