Named after a tale from Scottish folklore, the band initially formed in late 2014. As the story goes, a farmer (Hogan) owned a goat rumored to have a smell said to travel miles away. The goat’s been described as having patchy fur, an eye out of its socket, and covered in flies.
Their first show was part of an all Nashville (non-country) showcase. Soon after, Hogan’s Goat returned to Nashville, competed in BMI’s “Road To Bonnaroo” (winning the fan vote) and played many other shows around the Nashville area.
In March of 2016, Hogan’s Goat began recording their first LP, Hogan’s Goat which has been recently released. Like the goat, the band is definitely memorable. They meld alternative grooves with Soundgarden-like grunge and Led Zeppelin riffing. Mixed in to the recipe is a dash of bands like Every Time I Die with metalcore tendencies. In addition, the vocals of John Salmon are akin to the lovechild of Andrew Eldritch of Sisters Of Mercy and Ian Astbury of The Cult.
This record is not for the faint hearted. I listened to it over and over this last few weeks and it is solid, but not easy to penetrate. However, it pays off repeated listening by creating a swirling soundscape of scraping guitars and anger. The prime example of this is on the song “John Doe“, which seems to rail against authority overstepping its boundaries.
I have read other reviews of this record, which mention Mastadoon. I’m not sure I hear their influence, but Hogan’s Goat are progressive in their approach to metal. I do, however, hear some Southern rock poke through with slide guitars and it makes for interesting listening.
The star attractions on this collection are the vocals of Salmon, but the exceptional drumming of Wayne Michel is amazing too. The album bubbles and turns on its heel at several points. The highlights for this virtosity are “Elkhorn Mountain” and “Drinking With The Priest“.
Hogan’s Goat have created a monster and can rightly be seen as leaders of a new wave of progressive metal.