Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Review: I Heart Hiroshima - Tuff Teef

More I Heart Hiroshima here for you. The band's debut album was released on Saturday, and it is quite the banger. Tuff Teef serves up more of their unique sound, however the band mixes up that formula a few times, and some of the new tracks have a few surprises in store for the listener.

Tuff Teef kicks of with the slow paced 'Lungs', a track which is probably the closest I Heart Hiroshima will ever get to a ballad, at least until Matt's accusingly shouty vocals kick in and the Susie goes into overdrive on the drums.

Next up is 'Surgery', a song which I have been waiting to be recorded since I heard it a year ago. The transition to vinyl is excellent, the songs infectiously danceable beats and riffs come across extremely fresh, and, thus, I find it highly difficult to sit still while I listen to it.

'Punks', the next cut on Tuff Teef, is the only song to previously be released by the band (check out the review below). Following on is the semi-title track, 'Teef', a pounding song which appears to be about teeth (sorry, teef) funnily enough. Subject matter aside, the song drives along repetitively, a trait that will most likely be the main criticism leveled against the album. The band are unashamedly repetitive, however the excellent drumming and guitar work on show means that the parts being repeated make up for it. Repetition can be good if used correctly, and I Heart Hiroshima are doing just that on Tuff Teef.

Having said that, the next track is possibly the least repetitive one on the album. It also happens to be the least compelling. The lack of a decent hook on 'Crook'd' to tie the song together means that the song floats by the listener without much attention. The next song, 'Electric Lake' starts off a little bland as well. The off kilter vocals and repetitive sound lead the listener to believe that the song is the same as any one of the previous songs on offer, at least until Susie's solo vocal kicks in towards the end of the song. Her vocals, reminiscent of early Courtney Love, make the song, and on a second listen 'Electric Lake' stands out as one of the best songs on the album.

Susie's riot grrl-style singing continues on 'Crime', a song which features an excellent chorus, as well my favourite lyrics on the album. The run of good songs continues with 'Wires', a song which epitomises the beauty of I Heart Hiroshima's repetitive style. One of the things that become apparent on this track is the emotiveness of the band's vocals. While in most bands the singer tends to keep a standard level of emotion in their voice the entirety of a song, I Heart Hiroshima possess the ability to show a lot of emotion in their singing/shouting (which is helpful as many of their lyrics are indecipherable).

'Got Bones' and 'Throw That Metal' continue with the formula, both to an average result. The last two tracks, however, are some of the strongest on the album. 'Captain To Captain' possesses an urgency to it, and, similar to 'Surgery', is impossible to sit still to while listening. The song also features the best drumming on the album, quite an achievement when your drummer has such commendable skill. Closing track 'Stop That' is a perfect choice for the final song. The buildup to the chorus is preformed beautifully, while said chorus is a magnificent mess of no wave-style riffing. A glorious conclusion to a great debut from I Heart Hiroshima.
A final mention goes to Cam for the very cool artwork on the album.


Cam said...

holy pixelation, batman!

ex_king_john said...

fuck yeah!

Cam said...

dude, it's a capital 'F' and there are three exclamation marks.

katey said...

totes purchasing this on thursday.
Mt. Augustus EP also, if I can locate it.

Anonymous said...

Fuck yeah!!!

Travis said...

this album fucking rocks..thanks for the review