It’s perhaps reductive to say that Husky Loops are a band who refuse to fit into a box. That’s pretty much where they’re at musically - but the whole point is that there’s so much more to them than that.
After making their mark in 2017 with a handful of strange, purposefully jagged and mismatched tracks, the three-piece attracted labels like “art-rock” and even a few “prog rock” or “math rock”. In the years since, becoming a band that can do anything has clearly been their prerogative - hip hop, EDM, rock, whatever the genre, Husky Loops have probably attempted it.
‘I Can’t Even Speak English’ is their long-awaited debut album, and it’s truly a melting pot. The title, we imagine, is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the group’s origin - Danio, Pietro, and Tommaso hail from Bologna, Italy. There are themes as far reaching as the musical styles on this record - diverse is an understatement. We go from the pop-standard tales of love and loss to problems with youth and politics; everything in-between, as well.
‘Enemy Of Yourself’ is a track that perfectly strikes the balance between social political commentary and pop song - we’re faced with chants of “the enemy is yourself” and “fighting a war that isn’t even yours/no-one knows the reasons/do you know the cause?” in distorted, alien-esque vocal samples. Paired with hip-hop percussion and bass, it’s a nod to political struggles both past and present.
Blues becomes more apparent in ‘The Reasonable Thing’, opening with a Morricone-tinged sliding guitar riff and a lone bass melody. It’s a direct contrast from its predecessor, ‘Let Go For Nothing’, which is built over piano notes and a vocal ballad. But as we say: this is a band who refuse to be put in a box.
‘Slippin’ is a track with a guitar riff that speaks volumes: it’s sultry and urgent, with a sense of immediacy that gives the whole song an anxious feel - which perfectly reflects its lyrical content. Very rarely do we see songs that work their melody and lyrics so well together, but that is something Husky Loops seem to have mastered already.
The penchant for samples, particularly in ‘I Think You’re Wonderful’, ‘The Reasonable Thing’, ‘Fuck Me Naturally’ and ‘Good as Gold’ is something that needs to be done more in non-rap genres (although Husky Loops dabble in rap), and it’s wonderfully done on ‘I Can’t Even Speak English’ - maybe this can be the start of a trend.
The band have recently addressed fans suggesting that their musical direction was going more “pop”, but truly they want to play in every genre. For those fans who are desperate for the original experimental sound, though, this album will not disappoint.
There is a plethora of weird and wacky tracks. Because we are faced with so much movement and fluidity, the album speeds by in what feels like a few minutes - there’s no opportunity for boredom. Whilst one or two of the tracks fall behind what is otherwise a stellar album, it’s easy to forget this with the overwhelming (in a good way) incongruity of the rest of the record.
So what if Husky Loops can’t speak English? Their music is good enough to do all the talking for them. The trio’s debut album is an outrageous romp, flitting from genre to genre, done in a deeply satisfying way.
Words: Erin Bashford
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