Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hashbang Spacestar - Plans Can Fail

Hear The Track Here

A blog request, this time from the other side of the world to me. Australia, to be precise. Over the years I have become used to the sound of Antipodean rock and even liked some of it - especially the unsigned stuff I have heard of late. It's long been a place for decent musicians though, and still manages to surprise. Have you, for example, met Tal Wilkenfeld, a 22 year old bass player from Sydney who is now playing with Jeff Beck. Jeff ******* Beck!!! As I say, no shortage of talent Down Under so I expected to like Hashbang Spacestar but - I shamefully admit - I wasn't prepared to be as surprised as I was.

What I expected was a nice slab of Aussie rock, but what I got was an almost English sounding pop song, in an electro-pop sense anyway. Took me a second or two to pin down what I liked about the track, and slightly longer to pin down what I didn't like - which actually wasn't much and of a technical nature anyway. What counts here is the music and the song, because ultimately that's what pop music is all about and Hashbang Spacestar are mining a very fertile period using sounds and arrangements heavily influenced by the 1980's heyday.

So think Howard Jones, Thompson Twins but the primary influence - for me anyway - was the Pet Shop Boys. Even the vocal had that same laconic drawl, Neil Tennant is so good at, and the song's arrangement could have been one of their outtakes. Is this a good thing or a bad thing, you may ask? Welp, just it depends on your viewpoint. See I don't mind copying in music, it is the way it grows and changes, but I do require that the influences are acknowledged and in Plans Can Fail, you can hear that time and effort has been taken to craft a fine song regardless of influences. Sure, it sounds like a lot of things but what it sounds like most is a great song with a killer chorus.

Highly Recommended electropop song.

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