Recent weeks have seen a swelling of the MPT CD collection to the extent that there has been little time to keep my once-a-week promise to scour Myspace for new talent. But the waiting is over as I investigate indie “super-group” the Hours.
Essentially a duo who have served at different times in Black Grape, Elastica, Pulp and Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros, I’d picked up on some good things being written about this lot. So I thought they were worth checking out.
Unfortunately my impressions of what they might sound right were a bit off the mark as I hadn’t expected a piano-led combo (although I obviously hadn’t realised that Martin Slattery is a trained jazz pianist.)
To be honest I don’t expect rock bands dominated by piano to be particularly good but the Hours do manage to surpass expectations in a punky Keane manner. There’s nothing radical about their indie anthems but the songs are pretty decent.
They offer up 4 tracks on their Myspace, two of which have previously been singles and a third which is about to be and to be fair it’s solid stuff. Lyrically they’re pretty good, although ‘Love You More’ should probably be renamed ‘Insanity’. Witness “I love you more than my record collection, I love you more than my football team.” I mean come on! (That’s played for laughs Mrs MPT) “I love you more than Tony Soprano, for those that do not know me that’s a f*** of a lot” is inspired though!
Debut single ‘Ali In The Jungle’ with its talk of the greatest comeback since Lazarus is a declaration of intent reflected in their admirable manifesto. Unfortunately musically they come up just a bit short for my tastes. But don’t necessarily listen to me – go and check them out yourself. I insist.
The MPT ratings –
Manic – 3
Pop – 7
Thrills – 6
So the Hours fall just below the MPT purchase threshold.
Here’s another piano driven number with good lyrics:
You can buy the Hours and Ben Folds Five records here.
PS I’ve just noticed that all three bands I’ve featured in MJBJ so far have names which start with H. Weird.