The Hickey Underworld – I’m Under the House, I’m Dying – album reviewThe Hickey Underworld – I’m Under the House, I’m Dying (Strictly Confidential)
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Creative sounds that deserve to be heard? You got it in spades with The Hickey Underworld. 

I was in Belgium once. It was pretty good. It rained a lot. The chocolate was excellent. And then, The Hickey Underworld came along and caused me to think “What kind of a messed up, crazy country produces this madness?!”

Weird, wild, yet accessible, and even, at times, radio friendly guitar driven, strained vocal music that gets into your head and rips it apart. They remind me a lot of the American band Dead Confederate, if you are familiar with them at all.

There appears to be a great deal of grunge and Swedish garage rock influences here, at least in my opinion. I hear early Radiohead and similarities to Silversun Pickups.

In “Whistling” (one of my faves on the album) I hear the Smashing Pumpkins with Kurt Cobain on vocals. Anyone else hear that? Well, if you haven’t got the album, probably not. Listen to the song here then, okay!

Hear it? I thought you would agree! But, in the end, it’s The Hickey Underworld and it’s good, right?

“Frog” is a pretty cool, catchy band defining song with a video that freaks me out completely; so bizarre, disgusting, hilarious, unsettling but most of all brilliantly creative. I’ve watched it several times now, and it makes me cringe, yet I have to say it really is quite amazing. Really well done:

As you can see, humour (particularly of the noir variety) also appears to be a driving force with this band, which adds some lightness to some often dark and disturbing moments.

The more acoustic, brushes-on-drums sound of “Martian’s Cave” again mixes creepiness with humour and begs the question: What intoxicants were involved in this one?? But, The Hickey Underworld is at their absolute best when they just let loose with a fury of unbridled rock. They do this exceptionally well and invite a decent stereo system to be turned up as loud as it can possibly go until the cops bust down the door.

Now time for an interesting Wikipedia fact: “The Hickey Underworld take their name from a song of the same name that appears on the album Plays Pretty for Baby, by Washington D.C. post-punk rockers Nation of Ulysses.”

And there you have it; how Younes Faltakh, Jonas Govaerts, Jimmy Wouters and Georgios Tsakiridis from Antwerp, Belgium got their band name. Furthermore, In 2006, they won what appears to be a huge contest in Belgium called Humo’s Rock Rally and this is their second long player since then that win.

To sum up: A wonderfully interesting album from a truly great band. Not being up on the Belgian music scene, I’m not sure how popular they are there. But, if there was any justice in this world, they would be huge.

This is creative, killer music that deserves to be heard, and I’m glad that I have heard it. I think you should hear it too!

If you wish, you can stalk them on tumblr and Facebook, get some free music on their Soundcloud page or find their album on iTunes or Spotify.

All words by Chris Hearn. You can read more from Chris on LTW here.

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Deep in the heart of Canada, on the north shore of frigid Lake Superior, is a town called Thunder Bay. That\'s where I am from. That\'s where I started to write. And that is where I started to discover music. Now, I\'m a married man with two boys. I still love music. I still go to shows. And I still visit Thunder Bay, even though I haven\'t lived there for many years. What will you find on my iPod? You\'ll find lot of Americana, classic country, heavy stuff, punk and plenty of “guilty pleasures”.


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