Hint Hint Young Days

Hint Hint stomp out of the gates on their full-length debut with a spastic brand of angst-ridden, post-war post-punk. Thundering drums open the record to introduce the vaguely political diatribe that is "Natural Collegiate,” which comes to life when vocalist Peter Quirk bellows "Well, I’m not a natural collegiate / I’m so automatic” in his corrosive, Johnny Rotten-esque snarl. It’s an excellent way of setting the tone for what appears to be a response to living in the world after 9/11. There are enough explicit references to planes, fires, air-raids, bombings, and flag-waving to inspire a rudimentary academic analysis. But Hint Hint place all of the aforementioned imagery within a framework that is nebulous enough to make their listeners work a bit; perhaps the personal is merely that, but just as charged as the political. It’s the same melodramatic urgency that drove the Mars Volta’s much-maligned De-Loused in the Comatorium but, while equally ambitious, Young Days seems to possess a different agenda. In any case, Quirk delivers the band’s impassioned lyrics as though lives hang in the balance, while the thumping bass, crashing drums, and stabbing guitars are bolstered by synthesisers, pianos, and other keyboards that offer as much support as any cry of defiance could hope for. Like some of their contemporaries, Hint Hint seem bent on putting some soul back into traditional forays in hardcore, and the musical textures of the band do just that on this impressive first record. (Suicide Squeeze)