Friday, March 20, 2009

A Busy Week

And a good one during which to resurrect this bloodless music blog. Monday saw Hatcham Social delivering - finally - their debut album after two years of demos, singles and EPs.

For those present during the long pre-album build-up, only six of 11 songs will be new. Even so, You Dig the Tunnel, I'll Hide the Soil is a brilliant record. An almost-perfect pop record, styled with the same dirty jangle of guitars as Josef K, spiced with the cheek and whimsy of Lewis Carroll. They did rework a few old songs, most notably "Superman", currently (and perhaps forever) my favorite track from the album. Other old songs were left as-is, which worked wonderfully on the former b-side "Penelope (Under My Hat)", but not so-well with their second single "So So Happy Making". Not that it's a bad song, by any means. But it feels out-of-place here. A bit tinny and washed-out compared to the glowing saturation of the rest of the album. I can't help but wonder why they chose not to rework that one . . .

Besides that, however, You Dig the Tunnel is solid. And, frankly, that is just a minor aesthetic-continuity misstep that most people will either not care about or not even notice. The song itself is still catchy as hell. So the entire album is, as well. These songs tie together elegantly, creating the illusion of a shorter running time than the already-short 35 minutes. No doubt that will ensure repeat listens.

And on Tuesday morning, promptly at 12 am, the Horrors ended the count-down on their website with a video of the lead single from their upcoming album, Primary Colours. As suspected, their sound has evolved from the garage-punk of their debut. I never would have guessed the staggering extent of the evolution, however. The intro to "Sea Within A Sea" begins dark and lurching, the outro makes me remember fondly the flying dog-dragon of The Neverending Story, and somewhere in the middle Faris sings. No really, no growling at all. It's definitely better than my description makes it sound. Check it out for yourself:

Get "Sea Within A Sea" free by signing up for their mailing list at (click on "The Horrors" in the bottom right corner).