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Hurricane Party – Get This EP

80’s throwback Hurricane Party bring the style, but little else

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Be forewarned: Listening to Hurricane Party will require a mullet with a side of ripped jeans. Yes, it’s that kind of rock. These guys appear to know their stuff when it comes to it. There is a definite hint of rock bands from past decades such as Poison, Motorhead, etc. But do we really need more of them?

Well that could be a good thing, considering that whatever’s old is new again. It works for fashion, why not music? However with this band, rock gets a facelift. While not totally new and innovative, it’s a warped version of that good ol’ style. The lyrics are still the same sort of meaningless, in-your-face, performance nonsense that just begs for fan adoration. But precious technology has allowed them a more intense sound, heavy on the guitars.

There isn’t much I can say about Hurricane Party. Frankly, the word ‘hackneyed’ comes to mind. But the one thing about them that really can’t be disputed is that they truly must love the rock. To rock. Everything about it. It’s just pure rock. There’s no wishy-washy business about them, even when they incorporate other elements of music into theirs. 

If that’s what you’re into, you’ll love this stuff. But like every band trying to make it big, they’re going to have to bring out the big guns because this weak material doesn’t really cut it when it comes to durability. Meaning- they probably won’t last long. With songs like “Big Rock Show” and “Killer,” you already know what to expect.

I never really understood why those other aforementioned 80’s rock bands became so popular. People complain about mindless bubble gum pop these days, but I don’t think they realize that that stuff fits almost the same description. I suppose the issue has to do with image. No matter, true music lovers will see beyond the image to the substance. And those listening to Hurricane Party will not find much.

(Sanctuary Records)

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Hatchie – Keepsake

Keepsake, the debut album by Brisbane dream pop artist Hatchie is musical luminescence that can only be described as music written for the stars

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Hatchie Keepsake

Brisbane indie-pop artist Hatchie (known to her friends and family as Harriette Pilbeam) is in the envious position of being a pop artist unspoiled by the many trappings of what it is to be a modern pop artist. Unlike some of her contemporaries who craft music by committee or with Sheeran-like self-importance, Hatchie is as of now, unsullied by the pressures of the cookie-cutter pop machine. Hatchie’s debut full length is a showcase for a talent who is supremely confident and composed in her abilities, and Keepsake is musical luminescence that can only be described as music written for the stars. The album is also a wonderful throwback to pop’s dreamy 60s influences that shuffle in and out of this delirium while working alongside distinctly more current musical touches.

There is the lush dream pop sounds of “Without a Blush”, taking cues from the best of what Stars and Goldfrapp conjure but heaping a tonne of Pilbeam’s charisma on it. Like her vocals, “Without a Blush” has this elegance that has the ability to elevate songs from being beautiful to grand. It is the kind of vocal elegance that really shines through on songs like the skittering, beat-driven “Obsessed” and the alternative, guitar-fuelled (yay!) “When I Get Out”. Indie/electronic closer “Keep” is a wonderful end to proceedings.

However, the great strength of Keepsake is not just its composure in how all the songs have been put together. It is also this genuine, natural-sounding quality that permeates the album- nothing overly written, overly produced or put together by research groups or music analysts. It just sounds like talent. We can argue that much of pop music is constructed to appease the moment- designed to grab as much attention as possible in an A.D.D. world. And sure, that can be said about almost any kind of music, but the resulting aural tone of Keepsake is anything but transient or transparent.

The best way to combat tepid chart-topping music is to write better pop songs. Songs like “Her Own Heart” and the disco-toned “Stay” are examples of pop music that come across as timeless. We are moved by the songs found on Keepsake when we listen to them today. And I suspect that in 10 years time, or in 20, we will most likely feel the same. It is rare to find the sort of ageless beauty you find on Keepsake.

(Heavenly Recordings)

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