Saturday, 1 September 2012

Hats off for Hat Dimension's amazing mini-album Research:Inevitable

Any band describing themselves as "Punk Jazz Dirty Brass Rusty Finger" has to be awesome, right? Deep in the caverns of Northampton University last year Hat Dimension worked those rusty fingers to the bone for a beret-diant first album Paulson Welles to rock any fez-tival. Just nine months on (with ex-Zolarian Joseph Jezard) Research:Inevitable is the swinging ska stars' first full release on Herons Recordings, a high-voltage sixteen minutes for the dancefloors everywhere.

From the album's first track The Ship it's just plain sailing (insert comedy drum roll here), creeping in melodically until a sudden blast of energy that remains to the final note. Alex Simmons leads the first half on trumpet (supported by Anti-Vigilante's saxophonist) as they snake from richly jazzy intros into spiralling Latino funk, blanketed onto squalls and clatters with Dan McGrath and The Bad News Bears chanting "Just remember nothing matters" over top.

Post-Down It Mate tracks finds themselves more towards Hat Dimension's gigantic punchy-punk-band side (verging on Celtic traditional speed in Maggot Scream!) however the frequent style changes, screaming vocals and polished brass (insert second drum roll here) continue. And, as Ronnoco reaches its uprising peak, Research:Inevitable waves farewell with a stripped-back piano solo for an album that otherwise has been nothing but massive production.

Admittedly there will be some who find the record sounds disjointed and well just a little too weird. However, for the more adventurous listeners among us, those punk-jazz/dirty-brass/rusty-finger harmonies emit a real contagious energy. One thing's for sure though, Hat Dimension are certainly more than a "handy cap!"

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