Latest album from Hatcham Social reviewed.
Formed in 2006, English indie pop group Hatcham Social gained critical acclaim with their debut album ‘You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The Soil’. ‘About Girls’ is the group’s sophomore release. Enlisting help from producers Laurie Latham (Echo and the Bunnymen, Squeeze), and Jim Anderson (Transgressive, Cold Specks), the influence of 1980’s British indie pop and post-punk is evident. For anyone who’s heard of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Hatcham Social are the British answer, boasting an absolute asset of a drummer, one of rock’s hidden gems.
A grunge-y minute-long guitar riff opens the album, immediately setting the tone of the album as a whole, leading into ‘NY Girl’; a solid opener and stomping rock track filled with great riffs and energetic percussion and bass.
‘NY Girl’ is followed by ‘Nicola Tells Me’, a melancholic song about regret and losing touch, demonstrating Hatcham Social’s ability to balance meaningful lyrics, and more ponderous melodies, with exciting and danceable guitar riffs and drum-lines.
Along with these two tracks, the album’s highlights include ‘Lois Lane’, ‘Like an Animal’, and ‘Shut Your Mouth’.
As well as infectious guitars, Hatcham Social also have a handle on simple but effective hooks. ‘Shoot me down’ in ‘Like an Animal’, is just one example of the many relentless hooks on the album, which create their own uplifting energy.
The album has a definite theme and story running throughout, not only is it ‘About Girls’, it’s a story of love and random encounters set against the back-drop of the city.
One minor complaint I have with the album is the dizzying overload of ideas packed into the thirteen tracks. It tends to drag a little towards the end, with the constant unrelenting riffs causing fatigue to set in, and dull the splendour of the album’s first half.
Overall, ‘About Girls’, is a must-listen for fans of British indie pop, with it’s offerings of stomping rock numbers, and original, engaging lyrics.