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Things That May Exist

by Hound Dog Taylor's Hand

Dream Sloth 05:11
Monkey Organ 02:20


Amassed from recordings as far back as the first HDTH Lp, Things That May Exist started out as a proto-bootleg to share strange old jams but has instead unfurled itself into the newest and weirdest Hound Dog Taylor’s Hand release yet.
One of the Northwest's premier jazz-rock groups, Seattle improv trio Hound Dog Taylor's Hand are poised to release their fourth studio album of freaky yet disciplined jams. Things That May Exist—originally titled BOOT—finds guitarist Jeffery Taylor, contrabassist John Seman, and drummer Mark Ostrowski roiling in the pocket and scorching outside of it over six tracks of scathing fusion.

With its clouds of strafing guitar noise and splenetic beats, "Polecat Blues" makes just about all other blues songs sound effete. That it reminds me of peak-era Butthole Surfers just adds to its luster. "Dream Sloth" is a relatively smooth offering for HDTH, its rhythm slyly funky, although Taylor's groaning guitar fibrillations keep things disorienting. "Amygdala Dance" is a swift, two-minute sprint for PhD-holding punks that's as lethal as it is linear. The series of spontaneous and thorny miniaturist gestures of "Check for Snakes" forms into a Dadaist collage that nods in the direction of krautrock legends Faust, before it locks into a mesmerizing psych-rock march.

The album's first single, "Things That May Exist," begins with a deep, pensive Seman solo, then Taylor's plangent, Terje Rypdal-esque phrasings and Ostrowski's subtle, post-bop drum-and-cymbal work add to the intrigue. The piece gradually intensifies and spirals into a jazz-rock cauldron that would make Sonny Sharrock's neck hairs stand up. A false ending and a reiteration of the earlier canny chaos ensue, proving that HDTH know how to freak the hell out without relying on overly familiar tropes. Gasp at the telepathic, virtuosic skills at play here.

Dave Segal, The Stranger


released January 12, 2024

HDTH is Jeffery Taylor (guitar), John Seman (contrabass), Mark Ostrowski (drums)

Recorded by Seman, March 2016–October 2023, Seattle, WA

Image by JT

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Hound Dog Taylor's Hand Seattle, Washington

purveyors of the Avant-Primitive

Taking its name from the polydactyl blues guitarist, Hound Dog Taylor’s Hand creates spontaneous compositions rooted in the language of the blues and free jazz.

Reverence for the roots of improvised music meets an unbridled passion to push boundaries, making for a propulsive and unpredictable sound.
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