New Music Not Monday: Hounds – Monster

Dance music. Whatever you think of it as a genre, it’s the ultimate soundtrack to city life, isn’t it? Pounding beats, throwing shapes, lasers, all of that business – it is, if nothing else, relentlessly noisy. Mix it with rock music and you have something even louder, even more abrasive, perhaps even more suited to the madness of inner city living. Which is why it makes perfect sense that one of the current dance-rock explosion’s most promising upstarts began life in a tiny village in East Anglia. Er…

“We come from the same village, and it’s an isolated community, very small , so you couldn’t help but know each other, really,” laughs Hounds frontman Olly Burden.

“When it’s a place with such a small population, it doesn’t take long to work out who’s going in a similar direction to you – and the opposite direction to everyone else! Likeminded people attract each other.”

Soon, a rabble of mates united by a mutual love of loud, fast and heavy music began embarking upon a project that would eventually become Hounds.

“Unless you like football and drinking, there just wasn’t very much to do,” admits the singer.

“We grew up listening to metal and guitar-based music, but as we got older we started listening to punk – which is where the energy and the rawness comes in – and from there we were led to dance music. We were drawn to the styles that had the most amount of energy and impact, so when we started making music together and experimenting, we naturally gravitated towards that dance-infused rock.”

Describing themselves as “electro punk rock with big beats” and offering audio homage to similarly genre-hopping heavyweights like Enter Shikari, Mad Capsule Markets and latter-day Prodigy, Hounds have joined a rapidly widening flood of bands taking as many influences from rave culture and high-tempo electro as from hard rock, metal and punk.

They’re more than aware that mashing together keyboard-driven hooks with snappy riffing is nothing new, but as far as they’re concerned, their take on the sub-genre is fresh enough to stand on its own merit.

“There’s not an awful lot out there like what we’re doing,” argues Olly. “It’s quite a unique sound, and that’s what we were aiming for. We were never mixing with other bands or part of a specific scene – we were completely isolated, doing our own thing and I think people are really into that.”

With a couple of solid EPs under their belts, their “energetic, chaotic” live show promises to smash through the UK during 2014 and beyond. Make sure you catch it, and don’t bet against Hounds breaking out of the pack very soon.

New track Monster is included on the free Hounds CD with all new issues of Metal Hammer purchased at Tesco. Go get one now!

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.