The Hours: Ali in the Jungle EP

RIYL: The Wonder Stuff, The Verve, Pulp

We love when good things happen to good bands. The Hours quietly released one of 2009’s finest albums with the sky-high See the Light, and someone at Nike clearly took notice, because the band’s 2006 single “Ali in the Jungle” just scored the company’s recent “human chain” ad, which ran roughly one kajillion times during the Winter Olympics. The song is a killer, with one of those instantly memorable choruses that will serve as the soundtrack for sports montages for generations to come. “Everybody gets knocked down / How quick are you gonna get up?” challenges singer Antony Genn in his Miles Hunt-like tenor, complemented by a punchy piano riff. The EP is short, a mere four tracks – and one of those tracks is an orchestral version of the title track – hence the mere three-and-a-half-star rating, but perhaps they are planning a more proper US release for See the Light later in the year (one song from the album, “These Days,” can be found here), after its brief availability as a download last year. One can only hope, anyway. British pop fans, get this while the getting is good. (Hickory Records 2010)

The Hours MySpace page
Click to buy Ali in the Jungle from Amazon


The Hours: See the Light

They would surely bristle at the idea that their songs are of the throwback variety, but the simple fact is that there aren’t many, if any, bands writing the kind of music that propels See the Light, the magnificent new album by UK duo (or is it septet?) the Hours. Singer Antony Genn’s phrasing recalls Wonder Stuff frontman Miles Hunt (though Genn is a much better singer), and the songs are flat-out skyscrapers, gorgeous piano-driven epics that put the ‘wide’ in widescreen. “Come On” uses seven words to create one of the catchiest choruses you’ll hear this year, while the seven-minute title track is a brilliant, two-chord slow burner, like a mid-tempo version of Pulp’s “Common People” (which is fitting, since Genn is a Pulp alumnus). There is a lyrical gaffe here and there – “The Girl Who Had the World at Her Feet” opens with the line “The cash cow is heading for the slaughterhouse,” ugh – but such bits come with the territory, and their damage is minimal. Don’t be surprised if these guys become a very big deal in a very short amount of time. (IsGoodLtd 2009)

The Hours MySpace page
Click to buy See the Light


Related Posts