It’s back to the UK to shine my spotlight on the incredibly talented indie-rock band FloodHounds. Hailing from Sheffield, the 3-piece band plays some really exciting guitar-heavy alternative rock infused with ample amounts of blues and funk. Making this awesome music are Jack Flynn (lead guitar and vocals), Rhys Owens (bass) and Lauren Greaves (drums). Flynn and Owens, who’ve known each other for years, started FloodHounds after the band they were previously in broke up. They needed a drummer, and lucked out when they discovered Greaves, who joined them in late 2014 to complete the current line-up.
In 2015 they released their debut EP Bare Bones, featuring three well-crafted bluesy rock tunes. Now, the band has returned with an ambitious new EP Look What You’ve Started. Let’s dig in to see what it’s all about.
The EP bursts open with the hard-driving “A&E.” Greaves’ pulse-pounding drums immediately set the pace for this powerful track, with lots of crashing cymbals adding excitement. The stop and start composition of the track creates dramatic tension, with Flynn’s alternating scratchy and swirling guitars matching the ferocity of Owens’ heavy bass line. The guitars are really quite amazing, and Flynn’s vocals are mesmerizing. The lyrics speak of someone – a friend or lover, perhaps – who’s going through tough times and in need of support: “All the people look so tall, when you’re down on your luck and you fall. And though I know you’re on your way, you need a little push to meet me halfway.”
FloodHounds go all bluesy with “State of Mind,” a standout track about escaping a boring, mundane existence. Flynn sings: “Time has passed us slowly from one day to the next / All my friends are 9 to 5 and cashing their checks / And I’m running round in circles again, why do we try? They never said at school that we’d amount to much / You’re barely there it seems like you don’t give a fuck / And you’re wasting all your time outside, why don’t you try? Makes you wonder if you’re ever gonna make it in this world alive.”
The band keeps the bluesy vibe going while adding a bit of funk to the mix with “The Fear” and “Soulmates to Cellmates.” We’re treated to more stellar plucky guitar work, and Greaves’ formidable percussion skills are on full display. “The Fear” speaks to overcoming self-doubt and negativity that are holding the subject back: “Now I can’t help but wonder where you got your point of view / I don’t want to watch it bury you.” By the time we get to “Soulmates to Cellmates,” it’s clear the EP’s theme is about dealing with inner conflict and the relationship troubles it causes. In that track, the loved one becomes the oppressor, leaving the partner feeling shackled. “Being yours means I just have to wait / I don’t care how long it will take.”
The more rock-oriented “End of the Road” offers up funky bass and shredded guitars, and the EP closer “Greatest Mistake” wraps everything up nicely with a slower, bluesy feel. The guitar riffs in this song call to mind those of the legendary Eric Clapton – at least to my ears. This is another standout track.
To sum up, Look What You’ve Started is a solid EP, with a bit of an Arctic Monkeys vibe – a good thing, as I love that band. Support Floodhounds by checking out their website and following on Twitter and Facebook. Stream their music on Spotify and Soundcloud, and purchase on Bandcamp, iTunes and other music purchase sites.