Hairband - 'S/T' EP Review
2. Bubble Sword
4. White Teeth
5. Sassy Moon
Listening to this EP brought back memories that will show my age, it made me think of the 80’s and the musical extermination going on in Glasgow. A time I was just starting to become aware of music and even more aware that it wasn’t all the same and some people were trying to do interesting things. Hairband feel like they are firmly in the same type of experimental camp, it doesn’t quite work perfectly in every song but when it does work the results are beguiling. The vocals will not be for everyone but for some people, including me, they work well with the music.
This is not happy, life affirming music in the traditional sense there is a downbeat feel to several of the songs. Its also not music that will be instantly accessible to everyone but give it a few listens and don’t just dismiss it out of hand, once you spend some time letting it wash over you it starts to reveal a fragile beauty that will start to pull you in. It does have the feel of music that would work well playing in a cool bar or at a crucial part of a quality indie movie, it would be even better as the music you put on at the end of a long night, it has that feel about it.
I personally struggled with this EP on its first listen but I heard enough to want to give it another go, every time I listened to it a few more reasons to listen again appeared, I took a few goes to get into what the band are trying to do. Once you do start to get it though it becomes infectious.
The standout songs are 'Sassy Moon', 'Bubble Sword' and 'White Teeth' (Before you ask I’m not sure what a bubble sword is either!)
'Flying' was a song that I struggled with a quite a bit, I love the last minute or so but found it a difficult song to get into until that last minute. 'Bee' also didn’t quite work for me as well, I found that start too irritating and couldn’t fully get past that.
There are times it reminds me of Throwing Muses, I’d say Hairband’s vocals are slightly more accessible than Kirsten Hersh’s could sometimes be but, as a lover of the Throwing Muses music a comparison in any way to that great band should be seen as a compliment.
Hairband are worth listening to, like me you may not get every song, but when they get it right, they get it very, very right!
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Review - Iain McClay