She’s Hit – Pleasure

She's Hit - Pleasure

I was reading the Wikipedia biography of Hasil Adkins last week, and if you’ve never heard of the man who was one of West Virginia’s greatest cowpunk exponents, there are good and bad news items to digest. The bad news is that Hasil Adkins died in 2005. The good news is that, while bands like She’s Hit are producing psyched up rockabilly/glampunk/garage/screamo albums of the quality of this debut release, unleashing the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll excess and sheer deranged energy which She’s Hit bring to their twisted, blistering, verging on radioactive guitars, synths, drums and everything else they’ve thrown into the 9 tracks that make up their debut album – well, if there is a heaven for dead country music eccentrics and guitar renegades, then Pleasure, or something very like it, is what’s playing on the celestial jukebox.

Seriously though, She’s Hit don’t put any of their numerous feet wrong throughout the thirty or so minutes of Pleasure, and they manage to strike a crucial balance between overt reverence for their influences and the slightly tongue in cheek, sardonic tone of experience that music like this needs, that added depth of savoir-faire that marks out a band as originals, as greater than the sum of their influences, and She’s Hit are definitely that. The mix of reverb drenched guitars, industrial synths, intermittent and unidentifiable sound effects and lurex-clad glam drama is often attempted but seldom achieved with quite the degree of success that She’s Hit can bring to their songs.

Starting with the album’s first and title track, She’s Hit mercilessly deconstruct artrock history with a near savage lack of respect. The piano chords and sonorous vocal that introduce “Pleasure” instantly recall Station To Station era Bowie, except that he’s got a nosebleed, and Tav Falco and Colusseum II are taking over his studio with startling rapidity. Add to this a vocal that fell off the back of a Sun session, and you, the listener, are left in little doubt that She’s Hit are posessed. Posessed of the ability to make a very real impression upon the ears, the hearts, the very souls of those fortunate enough to hear their cataclysmic howls of defiance in the face of ever encroaching blandness and uninspired, deriviative indie-by-numbers. The deal is a real one, as the 4, or 5, or is it 9 piece band prove with quite spectacular skill over the rest of the album.

There are several highlights to savour on the remaining 8 tracks on Pleasure; there’s the farfisa keyboard that boosts the grinding riffs that power “Part One” the tribal electroglam of “Re: Peater”, the Darkwave histrionics of “Stare At The Sun”, the doomy bar room romanticism of “Forfeit To Despair”, the chaotic experimentalism of “Shimmer Shimmer”, all of which goto rove that She’s Hit are already masters of their craft, able to carve anthemic rock ‘n’ roll epics from practically out of thin air with effortless skill and not a little supercilious glee. Pleasure, if you’re in the mood for it, is one of the very finest debut albums it has been my privilege to hear since I first began writing about music some twelve years ago, and is a more than worthy addition to any garage punk fan’s album collection.