Houndmouth Bridges Divide Between Country and Rock

(Radio.com) Rock music today really doesn't get more American than Houndmouth, but the record label that snapped them up was the decidedly British outfit Rough Trade. And it makes sense. There's a rustic, but not nostalgic, tinge to their music, a sound that's being embraced from acts like the more bluegrass-influenced Mumford & Sons to the more bombastic Grace Potter to the more pop-tinged Lumineers.

They all live in the same universe, but Houndmouth make music that doesn't quite live in the same decade as their contemporaries. If anything, they're representing the opposite side of the late '60s we're currently seeing on Mad Men. They're a straight-up rock band, with one big toe in the world of country and the other on planet indie.

"Penitentiary," from their recent debut From The Hills Below The City, is one of those country-side 1960s tracks. It rocks, but it utilizes the familiar markers of a traditional country song: riding trains, five & dime stores, a stint in the pen for petty theft. They're out to evoke a feeling more than to weave a narrative with the debut.

"We all kinda wrote separately," Toupin said. "So pretty much whoever sings the song on the album wrote most of the song. Me and Matt [Myers, co-vocalist] were in this acoustic thing for like three years before [Houndmouth]. Some of the songs came from that." More including their secret addiction.

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