The new record from Hen Ogledd, Mogic, out as of Friday via Weird World and Domino, is a blistering set of folk-punk, the material here skirting the edges of both industrial stuff and lighter passages from past U.K. stalwarts of the folk-rock boom.
Hen Ogledd is Richard Dawson, Rhodri Davies, Dawn Bothwell, Sally Pilkington, and guest Will Guthrie. And the collective makes music that is lovely and otherworldly (the free jazz-tinged "Love Time Feel"), along with other offerings that batter the psyche with a melange of sounds that suggest both Gorky's and recent Blur numbers ("Problem Child"). The supple and rhythmic "Tiny Witch Hunter" is part Throbbing Gristle, part Talking Heads, the hooks tied to the pulsing bass here, while the looser "Transport And Travel" suggests debts owed to the On-U-Sound label, specifically seminal recordings from African Head Charge. Elsewhere, Dawson leads the group on a rough work-out on the near-avant "Welcome To Hell", a cathartic ramble through some unsavory territory. For all that is truly adventurous here, there are other moments that indicate the crew here have found a way to bring something lovely forth ("Sky Burial") the folky tendencies enveloped by a broader, more expansive music.
More details on Hen Ogledd via the band's official website.
[Photo: Rosie Morris]