Cause A Commotion
Loud Hound is set to blow up with the fiery new single “Cause a Commotion.”
words By Evan Balikos
Garage rock has hit a bit of a lull in recent years. The groups who took the most influence from the fuzzy sub-genre have dissipated one-by-one. The White Stripes are dead, The Black Keys fell into psych rock, and Arctic Monkeys are busy making music your grandpa could listen to. While great artists like Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall are still jamming on the sidelines, and putting out decent records too, nothing significantly noisy has appeared in a while. Luckily, Loud Hound, the solo project of Tommy Florio, finds a way to reanimate the body with his aptly titled single: “Cause a Commotion.” The simple but felicitous bass guitar riffs and Stones-tinged handclaps in the intro light the fuse for an explosion of a chorus. Make no mistake, this song only wants to have a good time, no matter what the cost.
The song is an expert meld of steadfast drive and raw noise. There’s an energy to this track’s rhythm section that will take you back to early Cage the Elephant, and the sheer abrasion of those power chords will definitely have you thinking Nirvana. The lyrics are subversive too, as it takes two common story ideas—a wild party gone wrong and the femme fatale—and warps them into a narrative that feels like a tribute to classic rock song tropes. There’s also a vibrant music video accompanying the single, in which a male partygoer is drugged by the women of his dreams and the subsequent reaper of his life. Yet, visuals aside, Florio’s lyrics do a great job of painting a foreboding picture.
“There’s a party tonight I know/ The doctor says just take it slow/ The devil ordered my special dose/ I’m showing up strung out like a ghost,” Florio sings with an arch in his tone that invokes the swagger of Mick Jagger and dramatics of Jim Morrison.
The next part of the verse feels like a wink to future danger, as Florio’s delivery becomes more dramatic and woozier once the protagonist is entranced by a woman in a blue dress—a clever twist on “devil in a red dress”. Her seduction overpowers him, and he becomes brainwashed by her beauty, despite her obviously killer intentions. The drums plunge forward in succession. The skeletal claps and bouncy riffs become more organic to the body of music. Once the chorus comes in, the pace of the arrangement erupts from its initial shyness; it’s like dynamite bursting from a kiss.
“Baby in a blue dress/ Cause a Commotion/ Strutting her ass for a sense of devotion/ eyeing me up, she’s making the motion/ yeah, she’s a killa,” he shouts while serrated guitar chords, boisterous drums, and waterfalls of reverb fill the previously empty spaces with crazed vivacity.
Determined to pay homage to the classics, and also stand out from glossier contributions from other rock groups, the song features a rollicking harmonica solo after the second chorus. Also, Florio contorts the verse-chorus-verse format a little bit by extending the pre-chorus and main chorus in the second half. The backing band peels back, leaving plenty of space for anticipation, but then the players spring in with fury at an unexpected moment. This unpredictable flow is half of the fun of jamming to this song, as it feels like the rest of the members are truly playing off each other’s energy.
After the final chorus, Florio continuously echoes “she’s a killa’” while the guitars, bass, and drums soar over his haunting wails. It’s a great untethered moment where he and his backing band take full advantage of their 1-minute-long coda and let loose. Guitars pile on, drums are stampeding forth, Florio’s twirling and bending his voice like he’s being sucked into a wormhole. The sensation of it all feels like a spiral into insanity, but it’s one hell of a ride, Ultimately, Loud Hound’s “Cause a Commotion” succeeds in doing just that. It’s an expert blend of thrash-ready fuzz and pop-pleasing hooks. With its dynamic balance of old and new styles of the genre, Florio seems ready and able to make a statement with his uniquely structured rock music. The party isn’t over for garage rock lovers; in fact, it may have just begun.