“Wrote acres of songs, chose 10 to record; picked 8 to be on this here album. Went out for a joyous Chinese in Camberwell, had a beer at a new bar in Peckham, drove home.”
You have to admire a group so unconcerned with music industry bullshit or massaging their own egos that the self-penned press release for their debut LP makes the celebratory meal at the end sound like the most exciting part of the recording process. Of course, in this case such wry apathy is misleading: Henry Blacker (named after the 7’4” 18th century “British giant”) are a Somerset-based three-piece featuring Joe and Tim from Hey Colossus, and if you were anywhere near as smitten as I was with that group’s 2013 album Live Life Like Cuckoo, you’ll likely find that very exciting news indeed. Hungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty Puddings finds the trio getting straight down to the serious business of rocking the fuck out, spewing forth a succession of razor-sharp hooks and loose-limbed locked grooves as fierce as stomping Cuckoo highlight “Hot Grave” and sounding every now and then like they can’t quite decide whether to keep jamming on the same two chords for another ten minutes or stop and have a nervous breakdown. If you wished the Jesus Lizard had had the Melvins’ sense of humour, or preferred QOTSA when they were robo-riffin’ wild men as opposed to the chart-friendly friends of Elton they are today, then this is for you: injecting their speed-freak boogie woogie with precision-tooled metallic sludge dynamics (the immense, lumbering “Pearlie”), insane vocals – imagine Tom Waits panicking midway through a sword-swallowing trick – and just a pinch of melodic sugar, the Blacker boys have created the year’s first great outsider rock record.
Hungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty Puddings is out February 3 on Riot Season; check out its first two tracks, “Crab House” and “Pullin’ Like A Dray” below.