Thursday, 11 December 2008
Records of the Year - Part 3
Hot Club De Paris – Live At Dead Lake (Moshi Moshi)
End of year lists are frustratingly tautological. They’re merely a(n) (in)convenient summary of what’s already been echoed a million and one times that past year and, as such, are mainly in service only to the retail sector and the goldfish among us. But with Hot Club De Paris, there’s (sadly) undue cause for concern on that front. Their second album Live At Dead Lake was released to little fanfare mid-2008 and despite the passing of time, I’ve still yet to work out why exactly, let alone witness anyone try to readdress this critical imbalance.
Musicians from Liverpool tend to fit into two camps: those who love Love and stop at The Beatles, and those who are good. Thankfully and to their credit, Hot Club… (if I may) aren’t interested in exhuming any corpses, although they are distinctly Liverpudlian. Stretching arcs of influence across the Atlantic, they’re clearly tapping into both an American post-hardcore and post-punk lineage, even going as far to wear their hearts on their sleeve and cover the Minutemen. But then Liverpool always has been a port city after all…
But these aren’t strictly pastures new for Hot Club… On Live At Dead Lake they retain the tricky time-signatures and mouthful-of-ideas song titles present on their debut. This time out however they display a seemingly intuitive understanding of space and melody that indicates a band with an enviable sense of invention.
And it’s not just the music that resonates. Lyrically, Live At Dead Lake indicates an affinity with hip hop style wordplay that many of their peers dare not attempt (“ a real swimming-with-sharks type lover tough cookie with the impulsive streak of a streetwise rookie”/ “and that this thing forever seems to last forever if this thing forever’s going to last forever anyway”), twisting syllables and twisted syntax around the most breathless of parochial imagery. And they’re funny fuckers with it too.
Such is the transient nature of the music industry, where Hot Club… go after Live At Dead Lake remains a mystery, but without them 2008 would have been a little more artless and a little less interesting. Let’s not let them become a cult concern. To paraphrase one of their obvious antecedents: memories don’t have to wait…
Hot Club De Paris - "I Wasn't Being Heartless When I Said Your Favourite Song Lacked Heart"