I think we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve bought a record even though it’s received some criticism for sounding unashamedly like another act. It’s quite possible, for example, I wouldn’t have bought recent records by The Twilight Sad or Wild Beasts if they hadn’t been compared to, respectively, Kitchens Of Distinction or The Associates. Which brings me neatly on to Hatcham Social, another band who doubtlessly share a similar record collection to my own.
The one act which Hatcham Social most strongly resemble – whether by accident or design – is Orange Juice. Vocally Toby Kidd is a dead ringer for Edwyn Collins, with whom he shares that strange hiccuping style, and the intricate guitar work for ‘Murder In The Dark’ is not far removed from the Postcard Records sound either. Meanwhile, ‘Crocodile’ and ‘In My Opinion’ stand up as quality indie jangle fare.
All good nostalgic stuff but can the band reach beyond their post-punk influences? Happily, they can. ‘Sidewalk’ shuffles into the shoegaze territory of Ride but ‘Hypnotise Terrible Eyes’ is a wonderfully intense song which sees the band stretch themselves to something approximating Morrissey fronting Josef K and ‘I Cannot Cure My Pure Evil’ is made up of similarly devilish attitude. The folly of youth can possibly take account of a song based on Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’ but even so they still turn it into a neat slice of weird, psychedelic pop.
Admittedly, my main reason for liking Hatcham Social IS that they remind me of so many of my favourite bands. However, the way they rip through these eleven songs with such breeziness and confidence is admirable and the songwriting is top notch throughout.
Hatcham Social MySpace
Orange Juice, Ride