I have not really got into the whole smokey female fronted , cultish, 70s inspired ‘vest’ metal  scene that’s been prevalent over the last few years. Other than the first Serpentcult album and a smattering of Blood Ceremony or Demon Lung, it just has not sucked me in. And it’s a shame, as Texas’s excellently named Hogbitch seem to be coming in on the tail end of the genre’s peak and they look to have something pretty cool to offer.

Self described as “Ur- metal” (ur-: a prefix meaning “earliest, original,” used in words denoting the primal stage of a historical or cultural entity or phenomenon), Hogbitch has everything that the genre’s top acts have and some. Thick, groovy, bluesy 70s riffs, a dash of psychedelia, and a smokey female lead singer in Suzy Bravo who has range, presence and balls. She has a sultry but powerful croon that fits the fuzzed out guitars and mix of hazy riffs and more up tempo, grooving romps.

While no expert on the genre, or even the influences, I see the likes of Black sabbath, Hawkwind and Blue Oyster Cult thrown around as references, and those seem fitting for the 11 songs contained on the album. From the dramatic vocals that start groovy opener “Queen B” through more psychedelic, doomy numbers like “Black Corridor” or “Rats in the Walls” to burlier throbbing numbers like “Hameh”, “Consumptive Sun”,  and  “Slaves of the Ether”, the album is a pretty fine example of the style and even had my attention for the most part, heck the chorus of the otherwise moody “Never” had me tapping me foot like crazy.  The production is rich yet hazy and appropriately analog sounding , with a great big, warm bass tone and there is a dash of 70s keyboards here and there for even more nostalgia.

Fans of the bands I mentioned in the opening paragraph as well as The Devil’s Blood, Christian Mistress, Witch Mountain, Jess and the Ancient Ones  and others would do well to check these guys out and discover a very solid, if late addition to the style.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
March 24th, 2014


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I will gladly check this out… but only if you stop calling it ‘vest metal.’ It’s not gonna happen!

  2. Commented by: Chip Alexander

    As the drummer for Hogbitch, I can definitively state that we hardly ever wear vests. Mostly.

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