Electric Blues
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The Hoax

Voodoo/Credible - 1998
Review Published October 16, 1999
Visit the Official Hoax Website
AMG Artist Bio/Discography/CD Reviews

Track Listing
  1. High Expectations
  2. Feeding Time
  3. Last Man Down
  4. Superstition
  5. Something Out Of Nothing
  6. Groove Breaker
  7. I Want To Be Loved
  8. Long Way Home
  9. Bones
  10. Don't Shake My Hand
EB Rating - 4.5

Audio courtesy of
Mark Wills Hoax Website
    The Hoax is a talented 5 member British blues-rock band. I first heard of this band about a year ago, when Electric Blues started receiving visitor ratings for the "Humdinger" CD. The 5.0 ratings just kept trickling in, and my curiousity was aroused, but "Humdinger" is only available in Europe. There is an earlier Hoax CD that is available in the US, titled "Sound Like This". It was ok, but not overwhelming. After constant reminders through the continuation of the 5.0 ratings, I finally ordered "Humdinger" from an European online store, and after an eight-week wait learned what the fuss is all about.
    The Hoax features Jesse Davey and Jon Amor on guitar, Hugh Coltman on vocals and harmonica, Robin Davey on bass guitar, and Mark Barrett on drums. The band is tight, with a big, powerful sound. The two excellent guitarists share lead and rhythm, and there's plenty of emotional blues leads, but not to an overwhelming degree. Notable in the guitar playing is the influence of SRV. Vocals are excellent as well, some of the best vocal work I've heard in a long while. While there is the obvious SRV influence, the band blends a variety of other styles to give them their own sound, a sound which I feel really sets them apart.
    There are several excellent songs on this CD, and it's hard to choose my favorites. Certainly "Feeding Time", covers of Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" and Willie Dixon's "I Want To Be Loved", "Groove Breaker" & "Bones" are among the top songs. In all, there are just a couple songs I found to be mediocre. This CD is a very strong 4.5 for me, and I may eventually settle on a 5.0. There's a whole lot of good, solid music. An excellent variety of songs featuring great vocals and guitar throughout. "Humdinger" is one of those CDs that I think should have appeal to a wide cross-section of blues fans. From a technical standpoint, the CD was excellently produced. The sound quality is excellent... the mix of vocals/instruments is right on.
    Unfortunately, The Hoax are splitting up after eight years of trying to make a go of it. According to info at one of the Hoax websites, they just could not make a comfortable living with the band. This is a real shame. The level to which the bar was raised between "Sound Like This" and "Humdinger" is astounding. This band was still peaking. It's hard to believe they have not realizing commercial success with "Humdinger". Due to the break-up, the future availability of "Humdinger" is questionable. If you want your own copy of "Humdinger", I wouldn't wait too long to put in your order.
    I've linked to a RealAudio presentation of the entire CD at the Mark Wills Hoax Website. This website is currently also featuring full RealAudio presentations of The Hoax's new farewell CD, "Live Forever", as well as a full length video. Check this band out and see if you don't agree this is(was) one fine blues band.

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