Sunday, May 10, 2009
Hatcham Social - Postcard In Colours
01 So So Happy Making
02 Wild Creatures
03 Penelope (Under My Hat)
04 Til The Dawn
"Thought I'd break into bits and pieces," sings Hatcham Social's Tobias Kidd on the first of this U.S.-only EP's six tracks. Given the headlong rush and brittle texture of the band's music, it's a valid concern.
Beloved of the Charlatans' Tim Burgess, who produced "Penelope (Under My Hat)" and "'Til the Dawn," as well as ex-Creation Records honcho Alan McGee, the London trio don't wear their influences lightly. The frenetic strum, loping bass lines and quavering vocals on 'Postcard In Colours' owe more than a few of their musical chromosomes to the agitated twee of Orange Juice, Josef K and other bands from Scotland's (wait for it) Postcard Records. In case that's not enough of a nod and a wink, one of their early singles is called, "How Soon Is Then?"
But however obvious their forebears, Hatcham Social's take unexpected turns, like the dissonant guitar solo that cuts through the joyful bounce of "So So Happy Making." "Berlin" is more reminiscent of Pere Ubu than any of Britpop's flavors, and "Jabberwocky" sets the words of Lewis Carroll's famous poem to an ominous surf guitar backing track.
Drawn from assorted singles and stray tracks, 'Postcard' sprawls in all directions. It's less a cohesive statement than a way for Stateside fans to whet their appetite for the band's forthcoming full-length. Just don't consume too quickly, or you might end up with a mouthful of glass.