Live Review: Hound - Cherry Bar

29 May 2012 | 5:18 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

Hound perform a style of music that’s a lot gentler on the ears than what this venue generally books.

Support band The Latonas prepare the crowd, which proves to be a healthy turnout by anyone's standards. As soon as one band member admits they've penned a song called 'Sex With Hound', it's apparent The Latonas have already given tonight's headliners the thumbs-up. There are three alternating vocalists up there, the red-haired lad faring best tonight. Drummer Michael Rourke looks a little Josh Homme (if you squint) and you could do far worse than stumbling upon this unruly style of ramshackle indie rock next time The Latonas hit your hood.

The punters are obviously keen to cop a squiz at Hound since all clamber up on benches or stand firm on top-steps to maximise visibility. Six musicians fill the Cherry stage and immediately launch into action – at certain times they call to mind Mountain Goats, others Boy & Bear (are there secrets shared between animal-named bands?). Hound perform a style of music that's a lot gentler on the ears than what this venue generally books. The dual, overlapping, male-female harmonies form a rich nectar and there's a very mature sensibility at play. Vocalist/keyboardist Jess Amory is a stunning (and talented) frontwoman, her sweet tones perfectly complementing those of vocalist/percussionist James Tyrell. You can tell from the get-go that all onstage are committed to the overall sound – there's no competition between members, just a shared determination to present this set of songs in the best possible way. There's some instrument swapping, which adds further interest and authenticity. Our focus is directed staunchly stageward and there's not much gas-bagging during songs. The variety of instrumentation onstage means there's always something to zone in on, dissect and admire. Steal Life And Wine is immediately charming, with meandering melodies held together by inventive percussion. If harmonicas make you swoon, you enjoy digging deeply into lyrical content to ponder a song's message – “Satan please try to understand me/You know I've got so much vision, I just can't see” – then Hound are well worth checking out.

Apparently the party is “back at Paul's”, to which everyone offers their best howling-hound sounds. Sounds like a True Blood 'werebarn' in here! Hound launched their self-titled EP tonight and, if the amount finding good homes in exchange for a fiver out in AC/DC Lane is anything to go by, they will need a second pressing.