The Hickey Underworld – I’m Under The House, I’m Dying (PIAS)

The Hickey Underworld – I’m Under The House, I’m Dying (PIAS)



The Hickey Underworld are one of a number of acts who created a low level buzz a few years ago, but never particularly took off after that. Back in 2009, the Belgian five piece released their self-titled debut, a competent but rather unspectacular slice of garage rock. Fast forward to 2012, and they have returned with their sophomore effort, which very much picks up where they left off.

A key factor throughout is frontman Younes Faltakh’s scratchy vocals much in the same vein as The Strokes‘ Julian Casablancas, colliding with stoner pop guitar hooks to create a sort of Strokes Of The Stone Age. The fast and furious pace evident in “Whistling” and “Thierry” is reminiscent of their debut sound but they break new ground with “The Frog” which strikes an eerie 90s vibe and is by far the best track they have achieved to date. “Martian’s Cave” rather slows down the record’s momentum but with title track “I’m Under The House, I’m Dying”, the record finishes where it began with another fuzzy and retro sounding anthem.

There is nothing particularly objectionable or derivative about this record, but the likelihood is you’ll listen to it once, enjoy it, then put it back on the shelf (or for the 21st century equivalent: move it to the recycle bin from Itunes to save storage). It’s just another one of those records with limited replay value, although more attractive to to fans of pure rock and roll. But for those seeking new musical voyages and discoveries, the search continues……



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