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It’s Time For The Hours!

The New Now

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One of the highlights of Y! Music's 2011 Austin adventure at the recent South By Southwest conference was a dynamic acoustic performance by Britain's enormously impressive group, the Hours.

Consisting of Antony Genn and Martin Slattery--a pair whose respective resumes are rather outstanding--the band has made significant inroads in England but are only now making their Stateside mark.

It's Not How You Start, It's How You Finish, the group's American debut on Adeline Records, is about as perfect an introduction to the Hours as anyone could ask for: A sampler including the best tracks from Narcissus Road and See The Light, their two UK albums, the album is packed to the gills with intelligent pop songs, each carrying sophisticated lyrics and even more sophisticated pop hooks.

And as for those resumes? Genn, for a start, joined Pulp at the young age of 16, then spent time both in Elastica and Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros; among his songwriting credits are collaborations with Brian Eno, Robbie Williams, Ian Brown, Scott Walker, Jarvis Cocker and Lee Hazlewood, among others. Slattery, who also worked with Strummer's Mescaleros, is a former member of Black Grape and has worked with artists like KT Tunstall and Grace Jones.

Exposure has not been a problem for the band, either: The captivating track "Ali In The Jungle," which they perform below, was conspicuous both in the EA Sports FIFA '08 soccer game and as the soundtrack to the Nike film Human Chain, which made its debut during the 2010 Winter Olympics. And working as the support act during U2's 360 Tour in 2009 wasn't exactly insignificant, either.

How the band will fare in the States remains to be seen, but surely having a high-profile manager like Pat Magnarella--whose other clients include Green Day, the All-American Rejects and the Goo Goo Dolls--will help.

The Hours' acoustic performance was upbeat, energetic, loud--in a good way--and an absolute delight. As was their interview. They are sharp, funny, and, and they deserve to be heard by many. As you'll see.   

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