catalog-no. dr 0003
rock - 2000
Twenty Ton Weight (73K)
Fistful of Dirt (70K)
Groove Breaker (62K)
"Finally, they did it about time, too!" Such could or should be the standard reaction of anyone familiar with these young blues rebels from the U.K. especially since LIVE FOREVER is the first live album of a band, who got their excellent reputation by playing relentless gigs full of intensity, fire and conviction. Wiltshire's and maybe the U.K.'s finest modern electric blues band is rocking hard and LIVE FOREVER gives ample proof.
The Hoax do these guys consider themselves a fake or what? Not at all while it's true that the bandmembers had their tongues firmly in their cheeks when selecting this name, the original inspiration for it came from discussions about the mysterious origin of crop circles on British fields some years ago. The guys all in their mid-twenties today felt an emotional connection of the "H"-word to the new and mysterious sounds they were hearing in their heads and so The Hoax came into this world with a bang. For those who don't get irony: No, The Hoax are not a fake. They're authentic, they're for real, and they are really good. But they don't like the old blues-rock category too much and prefer to speak of their music as "contemporary electric blues", to quote frontman Hugh Coltman. So let's not disagree with him.... Be that as it may, LIVE FOREVER is the fourth release of the four-time"British Blues Connection" winners and it's their first one on Dark Reign. So please allow some remarks on the band's history: While the idea of a gang of childhood friends turning into a music-making outfit in their teens sounds somewhat romantic, it's true when applied to The Hoax. Because they really grew up together as friends or family and literally went from cricket gear to musical gear. They are singer and harp-player Hugh Coltman (an imaginary graduate from the Paul Rodgers school of singing...), Jon Amor (guitars), brothers Jesse Davey (guitars) und Robin Davey (Bbass) as well as Mark Barrett on drums together they are nothing less than a first-rate powerhouse. Discovered by legendary British producer Mike Vernon (Yardbirds, John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac), The Hoax practically overnight got their major label deal with Atlantic/Code Blue and the albums "SOUND LIKE THIS" and "UNPOSSIBLE" soon provided successful and fine blueprints for the band's own vision of contemporary blues. Countless gigs on both sides of the Atlantic sometimes opening for blues greats like Buddy Guy or B.B. King contributed to their musical growth as well. While not being as radical as the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the band developed a style of modern blues that was still based on traditional aspects of the music but also infused with contemporary vigor and engery like the now defunct legends, The Red Devils. The Hoax do not like their blues as a museum piece. They are looking into the future - and that's the way it should be.
But even though the veteran Blue Horizon producer Vernon was involved, the group was confronted with Atlantic's demands for hit singles. Consequently, the band soon took their fortunes into their own hands and went into the indie camp with their third album "HUMDINGER". But as good as they were, none of these releases showed the band at their best. And there is no question about it, they're at their peak when playing live on stage. There is high voltage, sweat, and a maximum dose of adrenalin.So that's why The Hoax are so good? Well, there is more. Most importantly, there are three essentail qualities, to be heard on LIVE FOREVER in exemplary fashion: flair, conviction and soul. Of course there are influences like Stevie Ray Vaughan, or the Fabulous Thunderbirds, maybe even a little Robben Ford. But most of all they like to rock out. Their private record collections feature Rage Against The Machine alongside the likes of Albert King and John Mayall. The Hoax offers just what the blues needs today. New repertoire, new faces, and a lot of fresh energy.
This band has an attitude. While they don't like big words, one could say that there is something missionary about what they do with their vision of the blues: They release the music's free spirit from the bookish aura of too many anthologies and boxed sets and return its soulful energy back to contemporary life. Many blues clichιs of old are replaced with an unpretentious kind of contemporary spirit. The Hoax offer a relentlessly vital and dirty sound and LIVE FOREVER offers aural evidence of how much audiences like this. But despite all of the sturm und drang the band's rhythms are no heavy-handed stumble they swing and know how to shuffle. This band of young players offers abandonment with style instead of second-hand emulation, and tasteful self-control instead of directionless strumming. Considering the neat tidiness of many a veteran blues combo, there seems to be something of a generation gap here. But in the end, the blues will stay the blues as long as the intensity, credibility and authenticity are intact. The Hoax have an abundance of all these qualities. and LIVE FOREVER is the record that shows all this in an invigorating kind of way.
"This Wiltshire quintet offers an energised new vision of what blue-eyes R&B could mutate into, given half a chance." (Johnny Black/MOJO).
the hoax is:
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