While tons of blues rock bands over the years have struggled to follow the path blazed by the Rolling Stones in the '60s, the Bloodhounds have added a new wrinkle to the formula: they'd like to be the Lovin' Spoonful, too. On their debut album, 2014's Let Loose, the Bloodhounds have clearly borrowed a few moves from the Stones and their colleagues on tunes like "Saint Dee" and "They Call'm the LSC," but while Aaron "Little Rock" Piedraita and Branden Santos certainly get the guitar sounds right and Johnny Santana and Mark Schafler are a solid rhythm section, this band lacks the streetwise menace the Stones could simulate so well (hey, not every art student can convince so many people they're a threat to society), despite the Bloodhounds' clear interest in recreational drug use. However, when they make like an urban jug band on tunes like "Dusty Bibles and Silver Spoons," "Hey Lonnie," and "Olderbudweiser," they sound right at home, like a snarkier version of John Sebastian's great band in their earlier days, and if they still don't seem especially intimidating, they're certainly good rollicking fun. It's also a fair guess that someone in the band owns a copy of the Nuggets box set, since "Security" and "Try a Little Reefer" both sound like the band is channeling yet another '60s influence, vintage garage rock. The production by Arthur Alexander (not the great soul star the Stones covered back in the day) is clean and nicely detailed, but not quite full-bodied enough when the band want to push their harder rock and blues influences, though he gets the sound just right for the jug band stuff. The Bloodhounds are fine but unexceptional when they pull out their blues-wailing moves on Let Loose, but when they turn down the volume, they come up with something that truly sets them apart, and those are the moments that are most impressive on this album.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming