September 30, 2010

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The Hours, It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish
Adeline Records, Oct. 5

At age 39, former Pulp/Joe Strummer collaborator Antony Genn is a throwback at the top of his game. His band The Hours are now on their second full-length attempt to make some not-immediately-disposable alt-rock and throw a little well-defined Joy Division melancholy into a spastically omni-neurotic post-9/11 world, a thing that couldn’t be pulled off better than in “Come On,” the vibe of which summons images of a Tears For Fears yuppie guy sopping wet in a zoot-suit walking in the rain and trying to figure out where his next meal’s coming from. It’s awfully… clean, this stuff, for lack of a better syllable; honestly, I had this playing in the background as I puttered around this pile of screaming crazy trash I call a desk, and it was like hearing Snow Patrol and Killers at the same time. I didn’t detest those potentially pandering similarities as much as I’d normally think I would, though, and whatever, these guys are definitely chameleons, hitching Arcade Fire hayloft piano onto a lovable Arctic Monkeys-ified ’80s-dance groove on “Narcissus Road” and fusing Wire to Keane in “Ali in the Jungle.” Yes, I’m suggesting Keane as a mope band. Intriguing or what? A — Eric W. Saeger