Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Hurts - Blood, Tears And Gold

Since we put Hurts on our Ones To Watch list at #2 (here) everything seems to have gone just a little crazy in terms of increased media coverage for the duo. Not of course because of our humble blog, but because of their fourth place position on the BBC Sound of 2010 list. Suddenly music forums are alive with discussion about the band and the word ‘hype’ is being used significantly as well as the words ‘David Sneddon’ - not two phrases you will have seen together for a long time, if ever (see here and scroll down to the second last paragraph to find out why ). To our view ‘hype’ simply equates to expectation and the BBC Sound of list raises that expectation, especially with a band like Hurts who seem to have appeared from nowhere. Of course the reality is that that Hurts have done a lot of work in the background. Just google these words “Hurts Daggers” and you’ll see what we mean. Alternatively just click here and you will find the article that first brought Hurts to our attention back in spring last year.

In these world wide web days we want everything now. More consumer products, more TV, instant food, better sex. Instant gratification is the name of the game and up until now Hurts haven’t been playing. We suspect that Hurts have one of those big office year planners on their studio wall and each month of the year has been carefully colour coded, referenced and annotated; except their colour coding is in various shades of grey. On that wall planner the week commencing 10th January is marked “Release new video to You Tube, take old one for Wonderful Life down, then maintain silence.” So here it is, a new song from Hurts entitled Blood, Tears and Gold. We understand the song isn’t a single, but at least it lets the public think that Hurts are finally wanting to play. As Popjustice so wisely and brilliantly wrote Hurts are “Desolate and full of joy, like a bouncy castle in a B & Q car park.” With their Johnny Hates Jazz meets Curiosity Killed The Cat fashion combined with their Pet Shop Boys earnest and aloof demeanour plus their nineties boyband meets eighties electronic lushness we think that Hurts are probably and possibly a quite brilliant pop band. They make a potentially mainstream pop sound just that little bit cool again, stealing it back from the Cowell-monster. With Blood, Tears and Gold they're like Westlife come good.

If this blog has just added to the hype we talked of, then so be it. Sometimes the roller-coaster ride of expectation is an exciting ride to experience.


Fatboy fat said...

Make your mind up mate. You can't blog about cool underground techno and indie one day, and shite like this another.

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Er...yes I can.

Taste. Discuss.

Anonymous said...

Love Hurts.

Anonymous said...

Love Hurts: amen. I took notice of you comment at the end of your post and i agree. Thank you for this post :)

Chris said...

I really rate these guys, bit of a weird video though. There's a good article about Hurts here http://bit.ly/8eZR5G

Phil said...

Got to say Robin, I was all on board when we only had "Wonderful Life", but this, as you rightly point out, just sounds like a boy band. No nuances or eccentricities, just the dull and bland pop music that is strangely revered by our nation.

I wouldn't be too worried if it was just one song, but "Unspoken" is exactly the same music-wise. A few days ago, when I got hold of these two songs, I suddenly went from very excited to very cynical about Hurts.

It all seems to be put into perspective by the last line in their interview with the BBC; the gist of which was basically "we're not going to lie, our ambition is to be huge".

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Good point Phil and there is no denying that this song is blander than the previous, that's why I made the Westlife reference. Personally I'm still with Hurts, pretty much for the reasons I said in the blog - they have the potential to be a brilliant pop band with their great minimalist monochrome visual aesthetic and could possibly make brilliant mainstream music.

However, if the whole album is just very bland Westlife like songs we will put our hands up and say "Wrong !" but we're not going to do that yet - songs such as Silver Lining make us think that Hurts still could still do it, and personally we really like the second half of the version of Unspoken we have heard.

Once we have seen them live and have the album in our hands we will be able to make a full judgement, but as we said in the blog sometimes the roller coaster ride of expectation can be an exciting experience in itself. With this song maybe you've hit the dip, whereas I'm still climbing up the first bit of the track to the first peak.

Maybe we'll both end up in the dip. Maybe we won't. But I'm giving them more time yet...

Phil said...

I really hope that you're right, because "Wonderful Life" really showed so much potential. I suppose it hinges on whether they are going to go for unrestricted, Take That esq massiveness, or if they are also concerned that the music is good.

They're obviously very accomplished musicians, and I don't doubt that they have the ability to make a very good album, I just hope that they aren't tempted to make it overtly commercial.

Also, I haven't heard Silver Lining yet, so I'm just downloading it now and will reserve judgement.