The Glue Hotel Tapes

Hunger, as [B]Johnny Rotten[/B] once observed, is an energy...

Hunger, as Johnny Rotten once observed, is an energy. Jamie Hince has got it – having had one failed brush with pop as singer in indie also-rans [a]Scarfo[/a], he isn’t about to let this opportunity slip.

Recorded over two weeks, with Hince playing everything from guitar to harmonium, this debut mini-album has a wonderfully cohesive feel, and crams more into its 23 spiky minutes than seems feasible. Essentially it follows the same new-wave art-pop guidelines as Elastica and Placebo, with the louche cool of ‘Cattlecount’ buzzing along on rollicking piano and farting kazoo, and ‘Pillshop’ jerking itchily with the untainted spirit of the late-’70s.

But it goes further than those retro concerns. Because rather than get caught up in his influences, Hince has allowed some light and shade to pierce the angular guitars, and made ‘Song For Charles Manson’ a blasted swathe of benighted strings and military half-rhythms that Luke Haines wouldn’t be too ashamed to call his own. Fortunately such an acrid backbone doesn’t detract from these songs’ overt pop sensibilities, but does allow Hince to revel in a Gus Van Sant lyrical world of pill-popping, near-death experiences and sleaze.

Wired and ravenous for your attention, this is how the Elastica comeback [I]should’ve [/I]sounded. At least someone out there is making use of their second chance.

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