Steven Reid and Martyn Fillingham are like two musical scientists striving to find the perfect formula – they might’ve succeeded
Their belief that having more than two band members is too many, is coupled with the typical DIY approach of hard work and trusting no one with your baby. The pair had become frustrated with the time and effort required to organise recording time and gigs when everyone was free, so they cut their losses and …And The Hangnails was born.
DOG is the band’s fourth album and it comes off the back of three hotly tipped releases. The sound of the new album is very much a continuation from their last album, Rut. There’s an element of The Strokes: that typical lo-fi sound that screams New York. The lyrics are catchy and cut through the band’s wall of sound. They certainly make a lot of noise for a two-piece.
The album has enough grit and intensity to satisfy fans of punk, grunge and modern UK rock music. Opening track Don’t Waste My Time doesn’t waste any time in packing a full body blow from the off. The guitar is drenched in a rich fuzz distortion that shakes your bones. So play it loud.
Junk takes over and it becomes clear that these guys like to experiment with tones and distortions. Too Far Gone quickly brings back the almost white noise fuzz sound, with a breakdown that you might hear from Royal Blood.
Martyn Fillingham builds his own guitars, and on his latest guitar he worked extensively on the wiring, explaining “I wanted to be able to split the signal to the bottom 2 strings from the top 4… I found that I could remove the pole pieces from pickups to deactivate those parts, and so I rewired my Gibson SG.” Fillingham goes on to say, “I split coiled the neck humbucker pickup, so I have a single coil in the neck that only picks up the E & A strings (bottom 4 pole pieces removed), which goes to one set of pedals, including an octave pedal into a bass amp, and then I also a have a humbucker in the bridge and a single coil in the neck that goes to my guitar amps/pedals.”
It’s all interesting stuff, but one for the tech-heads. As for the album, DOG is a record that fans of loud, gritty and lo-fi rock music will adore. If that sounds like you, then we suggest that you listen to …And The Hangnails’ latest offering ASAP.
Verdict: Brings a new meaning to the word loud