Hosoi Bros, Wine Witch 7″: Beware the Bite of the Purple Teeth

Something about Severin Allgood’s delivery of the chorus lines in “Wine Witch” – the cadence of, “She’s the wine witch/Purple teeth/Six-six-six” – reminds me of Suplecs at their most fun-loving, but I can’t quite figure what it is. Backed on vocals by his fellow guitarist Shawn Apple, Allgood fronts Memphis, Tennessee, four-piece Hosoi Bros for the course of their brief Wine Witch debut 7”, ripping quickly through the aforementioned title-track and “Yellow Fever,” which follows an even speedier course. The band formed in 2010 has shared the stage with the likes of The Sword, Skeletonwitch, Red Fang and Totimoshi, and though they come off young as a unit, Allgood, Apple, bassist Drewbie Crenshaw and drummer JimmyJames Blasingame seem to have all been kicking around Memphis as members of various projects and bands. Hosoi Bros – one must resist the temptation to put a “The” before the band’s name – are cohesive across their first two tracks, however, and have a clear idea of where the core of their sound lies, and that’s mostly in their riffy punk influence. Wine Witch is pressed to a limited-to-300 edition of glow-in-the-dark vinyl, and shows immediately that the band – whose logo is remarkably similar in shape to that of Danish thrashers HateSphere – threatens nothing when it comes to taking themselves too seriously. Their Red Fang-esque video for “Wine Witch,” included below, confirms this as well.

What Hosoi Bros most have going for them is the energy in the material. Both “Wine Witch” and “Yellow Fever” teem with an unforced quickness of pace that only further highlights the excitement conveyed. The stuff is fairly basic stylistically, but that’s the point of it. Even with the two guitars, Hosoi Bros aren’t looking to make Wine Witch a prog record; they keep the formula simple and get right to the point. Bolstered by the humor in the lyrics – lines like “Merlot: Steals your soul” from “Wine Witch” – the songs are all the more memorable as a debut showing from the band. I don’t know if they’d be able to keep it up for a full-length without presenting some shift in sound, but a first 7” is certainly no time to worry about such things, when what Hosoi Bros are clearly trying to do is punk out and have a good time. They do it. Both “Wine Witch” and “Yellow Fever” – which is, near as I can tell, a variant on that of the jungle – are a lot of fun in their immature way, and delivered with a strength of performance from the band that shows they’re not just jokes. Crenshaw’s bass has its work cut out for it in keeping up with Apple and Allgood on guitar, but he more than manages, and Blasingame adds consistent snare rolls to “Wine Witch” while laying back more to ride the groove on “Yellow Fever” to show a bit of diversity and give a sense of adaptability. “Yellow Fever” borders on offensive, but stays on the side of cheeky, which is where it belongs, and its chorus of “I’m young/I’m ready/Yellow fever’s got the best of me” is undeniably catchy, while the verse – seemingly shouted by both Allgood and Apple – is harder to discern.

In any case, it opens with a riff that’s almost Southern rock in how it rolls out, but soon makes its pulse known. Crenshaw is more prevalent on bass throughout “Yellow Fever,” as the guitars ring out some in the break, but it’s still Allgood and Apple responsible for driving the song forward as they did harmonizing on “Wine Witch,” and they’re apparently up to the task. But it’s all over so quickly that you almost need to be through it multiple times to get a feel for what’s happening. Coming around to “Wine Witch” again, Allgood has a kind of early-thrash gruffness in his delivery of the verse, thinking of the first Metallica or Slayer outings, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that element shows up on whatever Hosoi Bros’ next offering might entail. For now, the roughly five-minute time investment that both these songs take (and I think that includes flipping the record over), the fact that the physical press of Wine Witch literally glows in the dark, and the utter effectiveness of the simplicity at play makes the band’s debut single more than just an unpretentious palette cleanser – however effective  it might be on that level as well – but a work of substance on its own. True to the purpose of any 7”, Wine Witch highlights a clear songwriting ability and makes me want to hear more from the band.

Hosoi Bros at Bandcamp

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One Response to “Hosoi Bros, Wine Witch 7″: Beware the Bite of the Purple Teeth”

  1. […] Hosoi Bros’ new single/video is burning up the internets.  The Obelisk just posted a lengthy, killer review.  Check that out here. […]

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