Cut & Paste: To Move Forward, St. Louis Band Hounds Left Behind Its Past

When the band Clockwork played for a hometown crowd on the stage of LouFest in 2015, the group was on the rise.

It had been together five years, touring the country and releasing three records. High school buddies Logan Slone and Logan Mohler formed the group when they were in seventh grade, quickly adding Logan Slone’s slightly older brother Jordan, whose status as a high school student made him the group’s elder statesman.

The LouFest gig seemed an auspicious marker of the group’s rise. But it was Clockwork’s final appearance.

The Slones and Mohler felt that band decisions had been taken out of their hands and that they were being marketed as just a lightweight, teen band — a boy band with instruments and a sunny Midwestern disposition. The whole thing no longer felt right. So the trio re-formed as Hounds the next year, with a somewhat scruffier look and a more rock-infused sound.

Since then there have been years of twists and turns. Logan Slone departed and later returned to the band. Bassist Jack McCoy joined the group. And now, Hounds sits on the brink of its biggest success. Hounds’ major label debut, “Cattle in the Sky,” will be released by BMG on Feb. 5.

“For me, it means it’s a payoff for all the years of hard work we’ve put in with this band,” Logan Slone said. “It’s nice to get that validation, that we’re finally making strides toward our end goal.”

The group got a taste of the national spotlight in 2019 when it won the second season of “Who Will Rock You?” — a band competition show viewable online and on Amazon Prime Video. The competition was only meant to lead to some meetings and maybe a development deal, but the label liked what it heard and sent the band into the studio. Hounds turned down opportunities to record in Los Angeles or Nashville, and instead worked with engineer Jason McEntire at Sawhorse Studios in St. Louis.

The album shows off the group’s tuneful, energetic rock ‘n’ roll. It’s also a leap forward for the band’s artistic identity, no longer hemmed in by an image that felt false.

Several songs “really point to the kind of messages we want to accomplish and the kind of — just lack of care anymore about feeling ashamed in front of other people, or feeling like I can’t say something because it’s going to upset someone,” Jordan Slone said. “Being able to be honest in your music is the only way it’s going to feel real to someone else. People can smell a fraud a thousand miles away.”

Follow Jeremy on Twitter: @jeremydgoodwin

Cut & Paste: To Move Forward, St. Louis Band Hounds Left Behind Its Past
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