Hiroshima Tuff Teef [album]
strange name and rather odd track
titles herald a very creditable outing
I Heart Hiroshima with
their album (wait for it) Tuff Teef...
HAILING FROM THE LAND DOWN UNDER, I Heart Hiroshima cannot help but be confident
of a considerable UK following because this three-piece band has already
established a sizeable fan base back home.
In 2006, a bunch of songs the band recorded with a student friend were swiftly
picked up by Valve Records and released as I Heart Hiroshima's debut EP Three
Letter Word For Candy including London In Love, which subsequently
appeared on Artrocker's Xmas 2007 Sampler CD.
The band's second EP Cut In Colour, was recorded in a real studio with
Magoo, before I Heart Hiroshima set off on their first national headline tour,
followed by a debut performance on the Gold Coast Big Day Out at the close of
2006. In spring 2007 the band went into the studio in Sydney at Megaphon with
Jonboyrock to record Tuff Teef before mastering it in New York with Alan
If I Heart Hiroshima's Tuff Teef album is anything to go by, we're in
for an interesting time. We're told the band's "strangely irresistible, powerful
yet delicate minimalist indie rock sound courtesy of their 'bass-less'
line-up of two guitars, drums and triple shared female/male vocals" is responsible
for their success in Oz.
The band's special ability to go to dark places musically while remaining warm
and captivating just might have something to do with their boy-girl melodies
and the interesting dynamism created when Matthew Somers' jagged delivery vies
with Susie Patten's cute vocals.
The well developed mix of Matthew on guitar/voice; Susie, drums/voice; and Cameron
Hawes, guitar/voice gives I Heart Hiroshima a distinctive sound. The band was
formed in July 2005 at a house party in Brisbane. As an alt-rock 'bass-less'
trio, the three are influenced by a number of artistes, including Sleater Kinney,
TV On The Radio, Leonard Cohen (who wouldn't be?!), The Smiths, The Raveonettes,
Magnetic Fields, Frank Black, Jesus and Mary Chain, The Walkmen, Slumber Party
and The Pharcyde.
Having impressed and been invited to tour Australia with Peaches,
Ratatat and The Rogers Sisters, I Heart Hiroshima has now confirmed an October
tour with Conor Oberst. The band's credibility goes on: I Heart Hiroshima has
supported and won praise from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Erase
Errata, Deerhoof, Cat Power, Stereo Total, Broken Social Scene and Tricky.
Furthermore, Go-Between's Robert Forster recently invited I Heart Hiroshima's
drummer Susie to play the drums with him on his Velvet Underground homage for
the Andy Warhol exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, where the
band is based.
I Heart Hiroshima's debut album Tuff Teef received rave reviews in Australia
and is currently enjoying extensive airplay on American college and Alternative
Radio, having been voted Best Debut Album for 2007 by Brisbane's music scene.
The band's refreshing take on what is now a very tried-and-true formula of tightly-wound
indie pop ensures that I Heart Hiroshima oozes charm and attraction.
It is this same charm and attraction that marks the Tuff Teef album.
There is that brave and fantastic beginnings with Lungs a great
punk-rock overwash that can't wait to be noticed. Surgery is wonderfully
whacky and Crime simply terrific to listen to. Feel the joy! One of the
more unusual tracks is Crook'd with a great measure of creativity and
Throw That Metal has a lot of appeal with its familiar rock undertone.
Punks is to be released as a single and it is easy to see why: it is
full of energetic punkography with a rock beat and important, heroic vocals
that offer plenty of spotlight time for the instrumentals. Tuff Teef
is an enjoyable, free-for-all indie-rock-punk album with strange words and determined
instrumentals. At times melodic; other times rousingly rock but with a pulse
of original punk.
We also loved the instrumentals and the rare treat of poetry and harmony on
the final track, Stop That. No, don't because with I Heart Hiroshima's
album Tuff Teef we have another new sound that takes a cue from the best
of the past but pitches to the 21st Century. Strange name! Talented band…
I Heart Hiroshima has now confirmed its
UK release of Tuff Teef on Valve Records, distributed by Weather Box,
on October 6 (2008), preceded by the single Punks on
29 September (2008).
1 Lungs | 2 Surgery | 3 Punks | 4 Teef | 5 Crook'd
| 6 Electric Lake | 7 Crime | 8 Wires | 9 Got Bones?
| 10 Throw That Metal | 11 Captain To Captain | 12 Stop That
"Punks is… aggressively life-affirming. Completely bass-free… takes the
earliest ragged, jangly sounds of the Go-Betweens and marries it with the more
clipped, start-and-stop sound of early Sleater Kinney. Good Stuff!" iTunes
Single of the Week (1 August, 2007)
Tuff Teef: "With I Heart Hiroshima's album Tuff Teef we
have another new sound that takes a cue from the best of the past but pitches
to the 21st Century. Strange name! Talented band…" MotorBar
Punks: "Punks is to be released as a single and it is easy
to see why: it is full of energetic punkography with a rock beat and important,
heroic vocals that offer plenty of spotlight time for the instrumentals"