The Hu – The Gereg

I am a sucker for bands who sell signed vinyl at the merch table. I just can’t help myself.

My brother and I saw The Hu in Atlanta and I was not going to miss the opportunity to own an autographed copy of this record.

What does it sound like? The simple answer is that The Gereg is Mongolian rock, but that really does not say much.

Think for a minute about what Mongolian music sounds like in your head. The sound you associate with it comes from that two-string small and almost cello-like instrument. It is called a morin khuur and The Hu uses two of them. The traditional sound of those instruments along with mouth harps and a flute provides the basis of their music. Then, mix in a heavy dose of rock n roll.

The Gereg is a wonderful marriage of traditional instrumentation and driving rock n roll. Guitars take a back seat on this album, but they are not lost by any means. The drum beats are tribal, pounding, and worthy of headbanging.

When this record slows down it is haunting and beautiful.

The vocals on this album are, for the most part, throat singing. They are also in Mongolian. You most likely will not be singing along in any coherent fashion. The sounds these guys can produce with their voices are astounding.

However, you do not have to understand the lyrics to understand the passion in the music. The use of multiple vocalists adds to the tribal feeling of The Gereg causing the songs to sound more like chants than anything else.

This record is fantastic.

My favorite track: The Great Chinggis Khaan

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