Thursday, March 31, 2011
Forgotten Music Thursday: The Hounds - Unleashed (1978)
The Hounds were a mainstay of the south-suburban Chicago bar scene in the late seventies. Led by the charismatic keyboardist/vocalist, John Hunter the Hounds performed a lively brand of late seventies hard rock with tinges of glam mixed in.
Hunter would take the stage dressed in a silver jacket, ratty old jeans, and a handcuff dangling from his right wrist. And given their local popularity the Hounds played to packed houses.
Truth be told, I'd never heard of these guys until quite recently. A colleague of mine had the pleasure of seeing the Hounds live in the late seventies before they signed their recording contract.
After a bit of investigation I found a high quality rip from vinyl of Unleashed. From the opening bars I felt my feet sticking to the floor, my eyes watering from that ammonia urinal cake stench, I smelled the cigarettes and stale beer. I was instantly transported back to the Just Angels Lounge.
The Hounds were a band that wore their influences somewhat on their sleeves but mixed those influences together in a way that was distinctly their own... Whether it's the Mott the Hoople tinged When the Boppers Turn to Rockers the suggestions of David Bowie on Janeane Tangerine or even John Hunter channeling Mick Jagger on I'll Be Your Magic Man you get a fun album full of delightful seventies musical influences.
After listening to this I find it a pity that the Hounds only released 2 albums (Unleashed and Puttin' On the Dog) and unfortunately they never released any live albums. While Unleashed is thoroughly enjoyable it only hints at the band's showmanship. It lacks the energy and the chemistry between the band and the audience that was present in their live shows.
That being said, if you're looking for an excellent sample of late seventies hard rock nostalgia you really can't do much better than Unleashed. Try it, you won't be disappointed.
The Hounds Unleashed (download the album)