The Music Room

Hod The God

Hoot Owl Records, 2004

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/26/2005

One should be careful when using the term "God" to refer to one's self. They once called Clapton a God, but for good reason. He was arguably the best guitar player of his day. The self proclaimed Hod the God (a.k.a. Perry Hodder) is no Clapton, and he's no God either. He's an English guy enamored with Bob Dylan and American roots rock. His debut CD The Music Room is a rather bland stew of roots-rock clichés that rarely lifts itself above an imitation of its obvious influences -- Dylan, Lou Reed and Tom Petty, among others. His voice is also remarkable like a young Dylan, which will prove to further create the impression of a nascent Dylan wannabe.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Hod's style is middle of the road, mid-tempo ballads. The rhythm and tempo of each song is almost identical, and before half the album was over I was yearning for a different beat, a different tone, or anything to give some distinction of one song over the next. Sadly, they all meld together into a plodding dirge.

Lyrically, the melancholy themes that populate this album left me a little flat. The litany of broken dreams and broken hearts runs unceasingly through this disc, without ever really touching any nerves. If one chooses to wade around in the shallows of depression, one must do so with certain degree of panache or risk leaving the listener with feeling sulky and unfulfilled. If one wishes to mope, one should do so in style a la The Cure or Morrissey, where there was usually a thread of hopelessness and bitter ennui that the lovesick, lifesick and generally forlorn could relate to. Hod doesn't imbue his compositions with enough angst to reveal the bitterness. He weaves a thread of limp depression into the lyrics which lacks any vitality or real pain. Also missing is any sense of humor or irony. Hod's words are pretty run of the mill metaphors for the great emptiness he seems to want to portray, but doesn't have the knack of finding original ways of expressing.

On a positive note, the production and the musicianship are both quite good. Hod's guitar work is good, and manages to lift up the one energetic track "Indian Queens," which is reminiscent of Mark Knopfler's mid-'80s work.

The world is full of sad songs and love songs. Way, way too many of both in my opinion, and the ones that really touch anyone deeply are a small minority of these overused genres. So, if you want to create those kinds of songs, you need to reach a lot higher than this to grab my attention.

Rating: C-

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