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Little Neon Limelight
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  • Houndmouth have embraced the concept of "loosely tight," delivering a rollicking fusion of boogie-fied retro-rock and folk-flavored Americana that's been carefully crafted to sound casual even though this band clearly worked out these songs with meticulous care. The "loosely tight" vibe served Houndmouth well on their first album, 2013's From the Hills Below the City, and they've swum even farther into the deep end with their sophomore effort, 2015's Little Neon Limelight. The performances on Little Neon Limelight sound and feel like they were captured live in the studio with a minimum of fuss, right down to the chatter that trails several tracks, and the group's four-part harmonies are easygoing but impressive. In addition, guitarist Matt Myers' sharp, concise riffs recall any number of '60s and '70s boogie masters (most notably Sam Andrew of Big Brother & the Holding Company), and Katie Toupin's keyboards add tasty accents and her occasional lead vocals are suitably soulful and emotionally expansive while still sounding low-key. Houndmouth conjure up the sound of an enthusiastic country-rock band from a bygone age of patchouli and bongwater, and they've done their homework on Little Neon Limelight, boasting the right touch and impressive chops. ~ Mark Deming
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