Another year, another instalment of the Hipsters compilation from Acid Jazz. This time it’s Hipsters 3.
The theme is much the same, a selection of guitar-based mod-friendly bands doing the rounds right now. As ever, the selection is wide and varied, it’s strength and possibly its weakness too. But it is always a decent barometer on the health of the band scene right now and on the evidence of this, it’s doing ok.
Some names are familiar to us (having been featured in our new bands section in the past), others less so. Starting with the names we do know, The Electric Mess’ You’ve Become A Witch treads the kind of ground The Fuzztones covered some years back – no bad thing. Houdini Dax’s Robin You Lie To Me is another track we’ve talked up in the past, a 60s/indie hybrid which preceded the slightly disappointing album that appeared last year. But trust us, we reckon these guys will do great things at some point.
The Laynes’ We Got Time is a nice slice of modern-day beat too, while The Keys’ offer some post punk with a psychedelic edge. Their album, Bitten By Wolves, was pretty decent last year too.
As for the rest, most are new names to me if I’m honest. The Riots are out of Moscow, but seem to have perfected a nice line in old school power pop on the evidence of Out Of Control. The Snakeman 3 do much the same with some nuggets-style beat via Gonna Find You.
Thee Rum Coves offer up an R&B take on a garage sound with Gone Too Long, while the Tone Puppets, despite not being obviously ‘mod’, certainly have something going on if Late Nights is anything to go by. A band to watch, you suspect.
Similarly, The Brights’ London Belongs To Me is more in tune with ’80s indie than ’60s beat, but it’s certainly a catchy little number, while an interesting, laid back cover of The Jean Genie by The Pages appeals to my inner Bowie fan. The Supernovas remind me of the more aggressive end of mid-90s Britpop. If that’s your bag, you’ll like Ultra-Violence.
Not too sure about Wet Dog’s Perfect Crime, which just sounds a little too mainstream indie for my taste, while The Dactyls’ late 60s-meets-punk-meets-rock track Burn This City Down doesn’t really stick long in the head. You can’t complain about a lack of energy in The Feathers’ Life Stranger, but it could be better showcased on an indie rock collection. Rather like Cryssis’ Simple Man for that matter. The Get Go’s Two Time Loser is a bit too ’70s rock for my tastes too, but I can see it having its fans.
Ultimately, the diversity of what’s on offer here shows just why it’s so difficult to pin down a ‘mod band’ in 2012. Hipsters 3 does show that the band scene is pretty healthy and diverse, although there isn’t a lot here that screams ‘breakout band’ right now. A decent compilation – if guitar bands are your thing, you’ll probably enjoy it.