Hurrah! hold the distinction of being the first band signed to Kitchenware Records; a label more famous for Prefab Sprout and Editors nowadays. Hailing from the North East of England, their main calling card was a guitar-heavy strand of indie pop and ‘Tell God I’m Here’ was their first proper album.
After the brash opener ‘I Would If I Could’, ‘Better Time’ is dark and urgent; like an overstated version of The Comsat Angels. Strangely, one of their better known songs, ‘Sweet Sanity’, sounds cliched now as soon as the song begins with the line “Well I walked in to town…” followed by an overdose of “big rock”. That’s not the case with ‘How Many Rivers’ which takes the same full-on approach but matches it with a driving chorus to create a true indie anthem. The record ends on a high note too, courtesy of the unusually subtle ‘How High The Moon’ and a jangly finale called ‘Mr Sorrowful’.
As well as the original album, Cherry Red’s reissue adds on a generous disc of eighteen other tracks which stretch from the beginning to the end of their career. Initially they seemed to be finding their way and then gradually grew in confidence. Tracks like ‘If It Rains’ are as gentle as The Field Mice but it’s ‘Who’d Have Thought’ which impresses most thanks to its wonderful mesh of jangly guitars and easy on the ear vocal melody. A special mention too for ‘That Dream’s Over Now’ which ends the story on a defiantly positive high.
Though many of their songs now sound a little overcooked, their passion cannot be denied. When that passion was aligned with a killer hook, you begin to wonder why they weren’t better known.