Hatch – Grand Blue Heron (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

11391787_854986491205804_6945915825928913522_nI really don’t understand why Belgium is often looked at by the rest of Western Europe as being a place of conformity, dependability and, dare I say it, boredom. Not only have they given the world some quality Trappist ales and taken the unprecedented step of putting mayonnaise on their chips, but as a steady flow of CD’s coming my way courtesy of Jezus Factory Records has always proved, musically they are a creative, off the wall, lateral thinking and crazy bunch of people.

Hatch openly plunders, refashions and kicks the hell out of most previous musical decades; the dark, brooding 60’s tones of The Velvet Underground and the nascent garage rock scene are driven at breakneck speed through seventies guitar territory and skip through the heavier end of 90’s college rock before crashing headlong into Seattle’s grunge-punk melting pot.

It is a masterful exercise in rock guitar muscle neither getting too clichéd nor too cultish but wandering, if not down familiar paths, then certainly on less well-travelled, parallel track ways. Psychedelic garage punk gunk bleeds into stoned blues-rock so naturally that you can’t see the joins, it’s The Deviants without all the rage, The Pixies brought up exclusively on Zeppelin albums; it’s the sound of jams being well and truly kicked out, of Monkeys going to heaven, hell or…Ghent. To sum up – A glorious, clattering ride through the history of underground guitar music, re-imagined and re-packaged for the current broad-minded music fan.

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
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