Review: Henry Blacker – Hungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty Puddings

Henry Blacker - Hungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty PuddingsHungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty Puddings is an insatiable craving, a stomach with a hole. I feel like Henry Blacker aren’t in it for the journey, but rather for the prize that constantly teases from afar – it’s an album that itches with renewed thirst, running on empty but for the promise of more, and where this sort of motorik onward drive can often be a symptom of a momentum that painlessly renews itself, Henry Blacker’s motion is one of a ceaseless anaerobic muscle exertion. Guitar and bass are jagged and frictional where the oil between them has long run dry – warm, guttural, throttling amplifier valves on their way out of the grill – with the drums charged with the task of keeping everything in motion, in spite of everything pushing back.

The production is dry like cracked earth – voices squeeze out of vintage Cadillac radios (sometimes mutated into monster groans through dehydration), while snare drums clatter with the flimsy crack of a hammer against the bonnet. There’s a real menace here; a rock ‘n’ roll that gnashes its teeth with animalistic threat, rendered loose and unpredictable through sheer exhaustion, and as “A Bone & A Thistle” throws crazed punches at its own climax, words start to give way to some horrible grunts of torn throat and sour bile – a primitive sickness ripping holes in Henry Blacker’s face.