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Hog Mawl

Hank Williams Junior High – 2001 (Broken White)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Hog Mawl

This side project featuring two members of northern New Englandalt.-country kingpins Say Zuzu should appeal both to Zuzu fans and thosewho like their country a bit more on the traditional side than what'susually offered up by the band.

Interestingly, Cliff Murphy and Jon Nolan reverse their Say Zuzuroles in Hog Mawl, with vocalist/guitarist Murphy doing the vast majorityof writing and singing here, with results ranging from the hardcorecountry of "If You Don't Leave Me (I'm Leavin')" to several numbers thatwouldn't have sounded out of place on a Say Zuzu album, such as "Love OnAll Sides" and "Jasper."

Which, as it turns out, is just fine. Murphy is a charismatic frontman and a gifted songwriter who frequently turns in the most memorable moments on Say Zuzu's albums, though Nolan and bassist Kevin Guyer each bat cleanup with a vocal number apiece. While still a long way away from the more traditional honky-tonk ofother New England country acts like The Spurs and The Stumbleweeds, HogMawl's more progressive take on country satisfies.