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Album review: The Hurricanes

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The Hurricanes

Look Out! It’s The Hurricanes
[Spinout Nuggets]

Northampton’s very own garage/mod quartet The Hurricanes have successfully avoid the sophomore slump with their latest long player Look Out! It’s The Hurricanes. Featuring four seasoned musicians the omens were always looking good, yet they’ve surpassed themselves and produced an 11 track album that celebrates the past – and keeps an eye firmly on the future.

Heavy on the distortion pedal ‘Take A Ride Tonight’ is the raucous opener. It’s a riff heavy, punchy affair replete with rumbling bass that arrives, with all guitars firing, like a fleet of Hurricanes. Wrapping a strong song sensibility in a ball of glorious fuzz renders ‘Take A Ride Tonight’ extremely catchy; an effervescence shines through that captures the essence of a Hurricanes live show. Upping the ante ‘Trapdoor’ follows for an amphetamine-charged number, on which you can visualise smoke pouring from their amps! With all the excess fat trimmed it takes the most direct route to what it’s all about, and is the purest distillation of The Hurricanes’ sound.

Rather wisely The Hurricanes haven’t tinkered with their formula too much and Look Out! contains all their essential ingredients. Yet things are far from generic, as ‘Right Down Inside The Blackout’ takes a more measured approach. Liberally soaked in melody and layered with swirling synths, it’s an earworm of the highest order that’ll haunt you for days. On an album that ebbs and flows perfectly ‘Baby Move On’ continues in a similar vein, before ‘Don’t Hold On’ appears with a real urgency. Recalling the R&B boom of the early 80’s it’s suitably raw, but unruffled, while ‘The New Contenders’ is a pure pop nugget that delivers a series of punches with its knockout riff.

Before graduating to original material The Hurricanes began life as a covers band, and that’s still evident on the influences they pull into their orbit. A pleasing amalgamation of 60s soul, R&B and British beat, it’s an energetic sound that captures the zeitgeist of the early sixties. And on spinning Look Out!  you could quite easily be listening to The Detours at the Goldhawk Social Club, 1963. That undiluted vigour is most evident on ‘One For Sanctimony’, which skids along a rail of angular guitars and that intensity is carried forth onto the equally virulent ‘Dancing On The Rubble’. Like a ball bouncing perpetually between two walls it’s a groove-laden track that’s full of nifty bass runs which carry the listener along on a wave of enthusiasm.

The Hurricanes are magicians, pulling chords from a bag and the riffs keep coming as title track and lead single ‘Look Out!’ skips like a stone across water, before ‘Running Out Of Time’ allows the band to spread their wings. With an impenetrable wall of sound [of which Phil Spector would be envious] The Hurricanes deliver a succession of shocks in a song that evolves through different suites, from blazing guitars to neo-psychedelia to garage rock. Its all held together by the central riff; a song that seems to alter the very fabric of time as it’s six minutes pass in the blink of an eye. The brief outro ‘…And We Ride On’ brings things to a bluesy conclusion, which stands in marked contrast to the rest of the album.

It’s a nice problem to have but you wonder how The Hurricanes will top this beauty.

Peter Dennis.

Look Out! Its The Hurricanes is out now on CD and LP

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