Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Restricted Hours – Live @ Club 85 (Live Album)

This is a rare live recording from the now de-funked Restricted Hours released on a nice CD-R, ask Joe ( nicely and it’s all yours for £2 + p&p. It’s a sublime mixture of post-punk, anarchic punk rock, paranoid folk and a slight hint of the psychedelic thrown in for good measure.

There is a really deep and paranoid vibe to these tracks. I think it’s the stripped back feel that helps with this; it’s just vocals and a few guitars from what I can hear. Restricted Hours have a truly addictive air to them, the songs sound simple at first with echo drenched yet jagged guitars and very distinct vocals, he reminds me of a post-punk Alan Moore somehow if you have heard him speak... But the highs some of these tracks reach is sublime, you really get drawn in by songs like, ‘Getting Things Done’ which just kills it for me.

‘Getting Things Done’, has balls and energy you can almost feel the spit going in your face. It’s probably the most punk sounding track here as well it makes me want to pogo and skank a bit even though its just a few guitars and no drums. It’s all electric mind and it sounds damn good, the quality of the live recording is excellent. The musicians really do a good job they are tight and make one hell of an atmosphere; it captures them very well indeed.

‘Big Ben’ at the start of a happy trio of songs as he calls them is a mini epic, echo-drenched beauty. Top marks for anyone that can spot the post-punk rendition of the Big Ben melodies in the vocals.

The two tracks after that make a long post-punk meets psychedelic soundscape, ‘New Dixieland Blues’ and ‘Living Out The Car Crash’ is a real treat, and they flow effortlessly. There is so much tension and pent up energy within them it’s pretty intense yet truly beautiful and dark all at once. You can really get lost in the highflying guitars and epic, anarchic vocals. It all builds and really takes you with it as they go.

The lyrics deal with some dark fears about things not changing and everything pretty much going to shit. The lyrics and music really reflect a pent up paranoid feel they work so well together. The song writing really is top quality. It kind of takes it out of you at times, as the intensity is so strong. Don’t worry though, they finish off with a nice little love song, I say love song it’s still a bit dark, called, ‘Midsummer Lullaby’ that really mellows things out in melancholic style. It deals with naivety, love and bigger things kind of screwing everything up.

Check out some of the related projects as well;
The Otters do a fantastic track called ‘Heresy’ that has a similar vibe to it but pushed through a dub punk aesthetic, you really can hear his song writing its distinctive. The Astronauts also feature one of the guitarists from Restricted Hours, which really do make this recording special, you can also check out a mini history of Restricted Hours on their myspace. They really are a good bunch of musicians and songwriters.

Restricted Hours conjure up some deep and dark images with their words and music. If you’re a fan of melancholic post-punk with a nice psychedelic, intense and slightly deranged folk edge to it then this is going to be right up your street.

Picture by
Noel Pearce

Big up to Joe for hooking me up with the sounds!

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