(04.2008, Self Released)
Verdict = Psychedelic pop with lots and lots of noise
I think that 2008 has officially become the year that lo-fi garage punk and noise pop broke loose into the indie mainstream. No Age is on Sub Pop, Times New Viking is on Matador and Siltbreeze Records (the genre’s fountainhead) are continually gaining momentum with recent releases by the likes of Eat Skulls and Sic Alps. Add to that Pumice’s Quo, to a lesser extent Women’s self titled debut and even local favourite Navigator’s Songs For Mei and Satsuki and you’ve got a pretty packed year for solid, fuzzed out amp destruction. To be frank, I think it is wonderful. I have always had a soft spot for the artful use/abuse of dodgy recording methods. Just adds that certain je-ne-sais-quoi, you know? Well, you can now add to that ever extending list The Hospitals' Hairdryer Peace, and not only should they be added, but they should probably be sitting atop the whole list. With bands like this, discographies can be a little shady so I am just going to mark Hairdryer Peace as their third full length album and boy-oh-boy is it terrific! The band has maintained its signature hyper lo-fidelity, but removed a lot of the screamy vocals on past records. Instead song structure and vocal performances have taken on a very pleasing Lou Reed-esque-ness. It is a wonderful development indeed for a band that already boasts a long list of awesome attributes. I guess the most wonderful thing about The Hospitals pop is their full willingness to completely destroy it. It almost sounds like a lost record from The Velvet Underground re-contextualized by John Wiese. I mean, could I provide a more compelling description than that? It’s just a glorious, dangerous, grin-inducing mess which is a blessing. What is not a blessing is the fact that Hairdryer Peace was self released to extremely limited quantities and now requires quite a search to find. However, if you do manage to locate it, rest assured, it is worth whatever price it’s going for.