New Hate Rock

While we wait for the album currently most anticipated here at Toilet Guppies', HTRK's Work (Work, Work) (to be released in about five months' time), the band is currently offering a live album, recorded in 2008, over at their website.

Not very well known—nor will they ever be if they continue to explore, in such a stubborn manner, what most people would rather avoid, all the more so because it's always there, that hum underlying your very existence—HTRK is still the most interesting «art rock» outfit since Flux Information Sciences. But unlike Flux Info, HTRK doesn't dilly-dally with things like distracting or ameliorating humour. Their music is not the type to cowardly put on a brave face, forcing itself to qualify, always unconvincingly, «… but it's not that bad.» Or to find other ways of looking away.

You can be indifferent about many things. Most things. Sorrow and sex are not among them, which is what gives HTRK its emotional currency. While other indie bands tend their hairdos and seek out people with whom to schmooze like so many gold diggers at the yacht club, so that they may better peddle the ditties they've slapped together with a view to becoming rich and adored by the snivelling and the stupid, HTRK takes care of business. Music was made for dealing with these things—pain, boredom, desire—and not for certain people to have their narcissistic exhibitionism indulged, their desperate need for validation met or their pointlessly ambitious greed gratified. When you've lost all faith in music—when every recording artist comes across as either a scenester or just plain bland—a band like HTRK comes around, offering you hope with their brand of hopelessness.

I'm sure that wasn't their intention, but there you go. Take it as a gift. Then go buy their live album.

[The above mp3, by the way, has nothing to do with the live album. It was a free give-away, downloaded off their MySpace some months back. Although a demo, it's as good as the songs on their records (and certainly boasts higher production values than their debut). Fuck the hyperbole, it's really very, very good. One of their best. So far.]

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