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HTRK - Nostalgia

  by Andrew Carver

published: 4 / 7 / 2007

HTRK - Nostalgia
Label: Fire Records
Format: CD


Evocatively desolate debut mini album from Australian group HTRK, who have drawn comparisons with both the Birthday Party and Joy Division

Anyone who listens to HTRK’s ‘Nostalgia’ will be forgiven for putting the year of release two decades before the actual date. The crackling tape, omnipresent reverb and crashes of lead track ‘Hate Rock Trio’ sounds like a refugee from an early Skinny Puppy demo. It serves as a taster for the wasteland theme music to come. ‘Look What’s Been Done’ features ultracrisp drum noises and a muscular bass line that echoes Germanic predecessors like Die Haut. Singer Jonnine Standish throws in a few inarticulate gasps and there’s a moan of e-bowed guitar. Standish’s disaffected vocals battle for attention with electronic squeals and process guitar while the bass continues its slow, grim plod. The thudding bass, drugged moans, guitar gristle and tin can drums could have been a recipe for disaster, but in HTRK’s hands they’re a brilliant evocative combination. The up-and-coming trio has garnered a few comparisons to the Birthday Party. Perhaps it’s because of their Australian origins, a fondness for noisy scree and former Party guitarist Rowland S. Howard’s production work on their upcoming full length. But Joy Division is the better jumping off point: HTRK lack the Party’s furious bile and destructive sound. ‘Nostalgia’ is black and white film, empty factories, desolation. It’s a cold wind blowing through an abandoned industrial park (and no, you can’t dance to it). It’s a superb premonition of doom for the band’s first full length, ‘Marry Me Tonight’.

Track Listing:-
1 Hate Rock Trio
2 Look What's Been Done
3 Look Down The Line
4 Look At That Girl
5 Look At Her
6 You Injured Me
7 I'm All Broke Up

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