Review: Hazehound ‘Macrodose’

When was the last time you encountered something that made you seriously question your life choices? I had one listening to this record along the lines of: ‘At times the guitar is kind of trebly’. Which then made me think: ‘Aren’t treble guitars meant to be trebly?’ This led me to: ‘You’ve clearly taken a wrong path to end up thinking that guitars aren’t meant to sound trebly’. And then I probably went and had some coffee and got on with my day.

Hazehound 'Macrodose' Artwork
Hazehound ‘Macrodose’ Artwork

I thought I’d share that fascinating insight into the inner workings of my mind as a way of introducing Macrodose, the debut album of Hazehound, because probably the first thing that will hit you on pressing play is the production:  it’s organic and raw (that’s good) and, at times, a bit too harsh and trebly for my tastes (that’s bad). In any event, it’s always nice to hear a band that sound live, if you catch my drift.

To rewind a little, Hazehound seems to be a three-piece (I’m basing that on a picture from their Instagram page and that they really sound like a power trio) and hail from sunny Montreal. They’ve released a demo EP back in 2022 and the record blurb promises ‘70’s infused fuzzy psychedelic rock with a High Octane dose of Gasoline Boogie’. If that makes you think of raw, MC5 style garage rock shenanigans then you’re definitely on the right track.

After the feedback-y intro Hell Is Real, the album proper kicks off with the title track – nearly ten minutes of rawk goodness. I’m going to take my time on this one because it sort of sums up the album for me. The track starts as a pretty standard early ‘70s rocker with a strutting riff and howled vocals, before a hypnotic bass riff kicks in and the band take to a lengthy instrumental excursion into hypnotic psych territory.

the guitar taking turns between meandering off into some sweet solos and, increasingly, locking in with the bass…

This is easily my favourite part of the track, with the guitar taking turns between meandering off into some sweet solos and, increasingly, locking in with the bass. The intensity gradually builds whilst retaining the groove, until around the seven-minute mark the track takes an about turn and goes back to a more standard song structure. It’s by no means bad, but nothing as interesting as the middle section of the song.

And that’s my issue with the album – my favourite parts are when Hazehound ease off the gas a little as I find the more straight-ahead rock sections kind of forgettable. Flatearth is a decent enough track – the band have got energy to burn but it never quite takes off for me. Hashhat slows the tempo a little but never quite manages to slip into that groove that you’re hoping for. The instrumental workout at the end of the track is pretty cool though.

Tailspin starts out with an awesome wah-wah workout on guitar which promises great things to come, but again the actual track falls a bit flat. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just a bit non-descript apart from the final minute which made me think of a garage version of a classic Electric Wizard tune. Sweat closes the album and centres around a raunchy, strutting riff that’s vaguely reminiscent of Hendrix’s Foxy Lady. It’s a solid tune.

I really hate writing lukewarm or negative reviews. Kudos to Hazehound for doing what they clearly love to do and, even if it wasn’t for me, I’m sure there are plenty of people who’ll dig this.

Label: From The Urn Records
Band Links: Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Liam Blanc