Erupting out of Buckinghamshire, Hounds Haul electrify with their third track – and debut studio release – ‘Riviera’.
Harnessing 1980s synthwave and meshing it with math-rock style guitars and a galvanising chorus, ‘Riviera’ gets the blood pumping and the hairs standing on end. Hearing this track for the first time was a similar experience to the first listen of Foals’ ‘What Went Down’ or Hippo Campus’ ‘Buttercup’ – a driving, building, energising track with massive indie riffs and reverbed gang vocals, written and produced as if it belongs on a big festival stage. I’ve never seen Hounds Haul live, but ‘Riviera’s potency makes it easy to picture the whole room bouncing.
Speaking of production, this track is Hounds Haul’s first studio release, produced by Ben ‘Faz’ Farestvedt (known for his work with London Grammar, Don Broco, and many more) – due to how crisp ‘Riviera’ sounds, it took me by surprise that the band hasn’t received more recognition yet. In fact, Hounds Haul only formed late last year, when frontman and guitarist Adam Bosworth linked up with Jamie Smith (bass), Tom Maddams (guitar) and Rien De Keyser (synth/keys). Regardless, each member’s tight performance (including that of the mysterious drummer) could fool anyone into thinking these boys had been playing together for a decade.
The band wrote this track as “an intrinsically up-beat sound to be the background of a lyrically darker overtone,” the lyrics exploring the place in oneself where debauchery leads to paradise. Insistent lines like ‘we’re in your head!’ bring a psychedelic dynamism to the track, creating an air of threat and revelry, and by extension one of the most interesting and invigorating indie bangers of 2020.