Review: Hatcham Social – You Dig the Tunnel and I’ll Hide the Soil

Hatcham Social: You Dig the Tunnel and I’ll Hide the Soil

(The not that new but fairly new nevertheless review…)

Just as The Horrors have escaped the murky depths of caricature zombie Goth coffin botherer’s with their latest release ”Primary Colours”, best mates Hatcham Social are re tooling jangle pop, making it something other than just middle of the road schmindie bands looking for a leg up to Radio 1.

Taking much of their inspiration from Indie legends Orange Juice, Edwyn Collins wonky drawl can be heard from the very first line sung. ”S-s-smile at the crocodile!” instructs lead singer Tobias in the aptly named opener”Crocodile”. Of course you won’t need telling twice, as you’ll be grinning like the Cheshire cat the moment the first plinking of nursery piano is heard.

Feverish acoustic strumming runs in circles like a child who’s been eating sweets all afternoon, chaperoned by the collected drawl of twangy electric guitar. If Gordon Brown got out of the wrong side of bed, stubbed his toe and wandered downstairs to find his dog had done its business on his paperwork, even he would have a hard time not cracking a smile upon hearing this album.

The bands fixation with Lewis Carol’s”Alice in Wonderland” is a running theme throughout, an interest that comes to a peak in the spoken word piece”Jabberwocky”. Distant cackles, jeers and woops mixed with the ever looping bass line and the theatrical vocals of lead singer Tobias, come off sounding like night time in an abandoned fun house, encapsulating the unknowing sinister nature of the book perfectly.

It is Hatcham Social’s ability to show there influences on their sleeve, without cliché or parody (Unlike bezzy’s The Horrors debut) that makes this such an irresistible album.

8/10

JT