>I always thought that being called ‘pretentious’ would be one of the worst labels you could pin to a band, with the image Über-punchable, po-faced, saint-wannabe Bono popping readily to mind. So when ‘unpretentious’ was the first word that I leant towards when describing today’s new band, Record Hop, I was sure that I was on safe, appreciative ground.
But think about it – ‘unpretentious’ would be unfair: the word smacks of earnest trad-rock lumps who, you know, maaan, ‘just make music we like, and if anyone else likes it, well, that’s a bonus, yeah?’.
Well, Record Hop aren’t anything like that. They say that 80′s/90′s underground rock is their thing, and it sounds like it too, crunchy guitars and drums that aren’t influenced by either disco or New Wave. They make songs that pick from “exciting”, “heartfelt” and “scrappy” as their points of reference. Listen to Giant Babies on their Myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/recordhop) to hear all three colliding at once on a sweaty dancefloor.
Record Hop sound like they were designed to play your, and only your, favourite local venue and become the band you tell everyone about in the hope they become much bigger. With songs like Giant Babies and Last Second, there’s a good chance they will. They aren’t pretentious, but are thoughtful; they’re not unpretentious either but are happily shooting forward outside of the mainstream. Good for them.
P.S. Steve Albini engineered their last sessions, and I know that for some people this fact will make the difference between listening and not listening.