Gather round, children, for a tale as old as time: An young lover sees a charismatic emotional trash fire of a person, optimistically ignores all the clear warning signs, and thinks, ‘I can change them!’ If only we’d had a warning…well, now we have! In another gleefully self-obsessed track, HCK9 warns a ‘Pretty Thing’ to stay clear away.
A quote directly from this alt-rock/electronica group: ‘HCK9’s love life is a horror movie, now he’s making it our problem.’ Continuing with their nods to classic horror, their latest release has a little of the Jekyll and Hyde about it.
‘Pretty Thing’ is a turbulent rock anthem from one damaged lover to another.
It maintains the strutting attitude found on their previous releases, but this has a little more of an early 2000s flavour, with classic stadium bands such as Muse and My Chemical Romance coming to mind. Frontman James Brown again shows off his powerful vocals, alternating between sneering and sympathetic, with lyrics such as “Were you really gonna try and save me?”
With their driving beats and soaring guitar lines, HCK9 prove they’re a strong outfit as a band, and once again deliver a big chorus with its ‘Baby I’m an animal’ refrain. There are some sleek turns of phrase in their lyric writing too – I particularly appreciated ‘The alarm bells were a symphony’. I can only wish them better luck in their love lives, but it’s not doing their songwriting any harm.
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Words Eden Tredwell