Little A - Split Ep
Hira Hira are a Sydney four-piece comprising Kris, Matt, Adam and Josh and Little a is Amy Williams, also a Sydneysider. Hira Hira are local heroes and purveyors of scratchy hardcore punk; Amy Williams' loose synth-pop and awkward energy have also won her many fans around New South Wales. Just so you all know, "hira hira" is a Japanese manga sound effect for rustling paper, flags, that sort of thing, and I don't really know what to read into that, but the total effect of this eight-track EP is certainly more profound than that sound effect. It makes you tingle, in a way that makes you feel as belligerent as King Kong on cocaine.
It kicks off with 'St. Valentines Day', and Hira Hira's unique fusion of sophisticated guitar and crashing cymbals begins to work it's magic. All of the band members sing apparently, and I don't know who here is singing but the tortured noises that come from the poor bloke's throat ram home halfway between euphoric and lump-in-your-throat. The next track is 'Children's Letters To God' and sounds like early Thrice (never, EVER a bad thing) and with 'All The Kids In The Basement Are S.O.B's' the music gets sparser and faster and is served neatly in a traditional 3-minute punk slice. 'Monsters' has lots of appropriate twanging and crashing - "they're scattering ashes over daisies... and why should we care?" intones a loaded Australian voice, giving you the feeling he might erupt at any second.
We are left thoroughly on edge as Little a starts her half off. Williams has superb tonal control - capable of crooning and almost screeching in perfect pitch. "I'll think of you... 'til my heart stops beating," she intones on 'HEART', set against the backdrop of buzzing synths and incessant beats. 'Clock' is floating, melodic, hazy and oppressively ominous all at once and is another showcase of vocal power - no more than three or four lyrics in the whole song but it's the experience that is important. 'Dim City Lights' pulses with dance hit quality and gothic charm and the EP rounds off with the beautiful acapella 'X-Ray'.
It's not an instant hit, this. You really need to invest some time and listen properly otherwise all you hear is noise, albeit cohesive noise. But it's a winner. Dynamic, diverse, interesting and well put-together, it's everything an indie classic should be - obscure, brilliant, a little DIY-sounding and completely emotionally comprimised.
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