Hateful – Noize from the Streets Album Review.
Hateful formed in 2002 and you would think by now they would have built up a strong support for their music around Glasgow as the first place a band usually starts playing is there home town, build up a following and then spread the word further afield, right? Well in this case no, Hateful for some reason don’t play a lot of gigs in Glasgow or even Scotland for that matter and seemingly Germany is a favourite haunt. Instead of publicising their sounds to the max and making a name for themselves they come in under the radar, with a few carefully chosen shows. Now I would say that most bands of today should stay under the radar, in fact I would close the curtains if most were playing in the front garden. After listening to Hatful’s new album “Noize from the Streets” all week to do this review, in the car, at home and on my phone over and over again, I’ve began to get more of a feel for them and what they do. I suppose the only way to describe it in two words without going overboard, would be to say it’s Fucking Excellent!
The band members Vocals Alex Aiken, Bass Mekon Meechan, Guitarist Alex K and Drums Kev, have already released 4 previous albums, an EP, a Live album as well a split album with the Uppercuts to date. You can delve into the previous albums to get the same raucous tuneful melodies that appear here, this album is a diverse set of songs with a vocal running through it like a bolt of lightning. We are played in and out of the album by two short instrumentals that by no means begin to replicate what’s sandwiched in the middle and lure you into a false sense of security. The first track in earnest is the title track Noize from the Streets playing us in with Alex Ks guitar, before Alex rasping vocal tears a strip of your ear drums, 1.29 secs of energy and melody that starts as quick as it’s over. Next up is a personal favourite of mine Bulletproof that starts with a 2 pairs for a pound Glasgow twang, before the vocals screech and sneer “Let’s all go jumping off the deep end” the drums rattle through you like a jammed machine gun fighting with a jack hammer to bring in the rousing chorus that will have a hall singing and punching the air. Hateful come up with some fantastic melodies and harmonies to go with the grit and gravel of the vocals, there is an eclectic mix of sounds but they don’t half put them together well with a chorus. The dulcet tones of a certain John Peel ads a touch of legendary status before the onslaught of Static hits you, another track under 2 minutes that has a frantic feel of a bare knuckle fight in a phone box. The brakes are put on now with the slower paced Hit and Run Away, it still hooks you in with the chorus and some intricate guitar throughout and a definite reminder of Rancid with the guitar intro before it kicks in.
Now we take a completely different direction celebrating the unequalled talents of The Ramones , Lets Go replicates the Motorhead tribute song in a slightly different style with the same pace and power over a gravely vocal that works just as well as Lemmy’s did. There are a lot of songs that make up the numbers on most albums these days and if we are lucky get one or two gems to put on repeat, I’m not saying every song here is a classic but for me they are all great tunes from a band that has obviously got some talented musicians and song writers amongst them. The diversity continues with Caught in the Sound a mixture of Reggae, Ska and Punk if there is such a monster, it may seem an unlikely 3 some but it just works, the title and chore of the song drifts through your mind long after it has finished playing. The Reggae/Ska beat has your brain swaying in time to the tune, contradicted by the harsh gravel vocal spitting shards of worded glass out at you. As if there were not enough changes in sound and direction we are served a slow powerful ballad this time that has emotion oozing from every pore, they even stole part of an orchestra to give strength and depth slowly dragging you from the gutter to the sky. This song evokes memories of The Clash and SLF when they were dipping their toe in to the Raggae and Ska pool, mixing it with their own brand and style.
In my humble opinion this album has propelled Hateful to a higher division in the punk league table, leaving mediocrity and the mundane behind them. The album takes so many different directions musically which is a bold move, but each track although a success in their own right still works and has quality from start to finish. Although longevity and experience are not all the ingredients needed to make good music you also need talent, but after listening to previous Hateful albums I can actually hear the progression culminating in the success of Noize from the Streets. Right Im away to press play, again!
By Kami Provan