The Rise and Inevitable Fall of the High School Suicide Cluster Band.
First things first, thats the name as i’m sure many of you know of Hot Club De Paris’ new EP, not my attempt at an intriguing title (i aint that deep). I pretty much decided to post this after reminding myself in my previous post ‘Calling All Brightoners!’ . I apologise its probably a bit late seeing as the EP came out last month, but heres my 2 pence (cents? yeah right.): Aside from the name, Hot Club De Paris have created a great set of songs, Best £2.49 you will ever spend? Given the prices of everybody’s favourite latex product its probably unlikely, however this is still so definitely worth your pocket money.
As well as consistently having some of the most interesting song names on an EP ever, these guys have really pushed their own individual style and should definitely be finally reaping the rewards after 2 albums and a handful of previous EP’s. As well of course as touring with so many uber bands such as Maximo Park and the late Dirty Pretty Things.
It all kicks off with the opener ‘I’m not in love and neither are you’ starts and soon you are welcomed with a crazed guitar plucka-thon. This is followed up by the playful howls of Paul Rafferty – the lead singer. All of this whilst Alasdair Smith – the drummer – smashes his militant drums like a crazed prozac fuelled Beefeater. The song itself, a mixture of indie riff and overdriven guitar thrashing with the occasional false crescendo just for kicks. Just the right amount of thrash mind you, this is in no way a band worthy of SCUZZ notoriety. And so they should remain in all honesty.
The album continues with a series of well sculpted and honed tracks that show the benefits of an experienced cohesive band. The seemingly Frere Jaques inspired ‘Biggie Smalls And The Ghetto Slams’ (no seriously, it can’t be just me?). The oxymoronic title does give the song more weight and a delicious irony to the classic british tales of one man bands and guitar swinging aficionados. The song is peculiarly innocent given the title (ironic of course) and this is a credit to the vibrant characters of this Liverpudlian trio.
The rather lengthily titled headline song of the EP ‘The Rise and Inevitable Fall of the High School Suicide Cluster Band’ is a suitably epic anthemic song. It carries a fair bit of weight with its reverbing guitar strokes and polysyllabic chorus’ (bit of a mouthful there Raffers?). They have definitely taken a leaf out of Los Campesinos‘ doodle covered textbook. The chaotic sing alongs and messy guitar rhythm gives the song a real ,jam-esque narrative.
On a slightly less philosophical note the last two songs ‘The White Town Express (Get High, Stay Low) and ‘Three Albums and Still No Ballad’ just really show Hot Clubs ability to write cracking songs. Although i’m sure some will deem them the filler, these are some really well written songs that show the bands actual depth. ‘Three Albums and Still No Ballads’ deserves real attention for the excellent lyricism and super raw guitar plucking (sorry, im not very technical). These songs make it clear to you quite why you ARE listening to Hot Club De Paris, The superb Beatles’y starts also give an interesting contrast to the bish-bash-bosh starts of earlier tracks.
Overall, you could really do a lot worse than Hot Club De Paris. EP’s are so common nowadays for all aspects of music yet its these punk mismatches ‘stuck-in-between genre’ that benefit so much from it as a medium and are able to really flex their cohesive musical muscle. So Bring on the Summer and the trios third LP and outing together. Lets hope they finally get the respect that don’t just deserve, but demand.
Awesome live too… 😉
And for you download hounds (don’t worry, i’m also partial to a good freebie), here’s some samples from the EP.