Alternative music reviews

Hey Pablo!

The All-Star High School Debate Club May 2006

Of course, Hey Pablo! are just a joke band, aren't they? They are from Worcestershire and have fun rapping/singing in fake American accents. Probably great fun to see live, popular amongst students you would think.

Yes, I know all of that and I enjoyed the first CD and didn't get around to reviewing it in among all the 'serious' music I review. But I did think it was pretty good. Now I have the new EP The All-Star High School Debate Club and I just can't help liking it. Worse than that, I rate it. Police Car has great hardcore guitar matched with a desperate vocal. They take modern nu-metal/rap and do it as well as anyone I've heard over the years. Rise Up starts with a cheesy, fake American accent telling a story about how he has to stay the night at his Uncle's Mansion to inherit the money. The music starts and then the rapping. Suddenly, this isn't a joke, and when the chorus breaks with "Rise up yaw, Rise up yaw" it works so well. Dr Laydons Theory has a wonderful gutteral scream going on over some very dynamic rhythms.

Much of Rap is posturing, and what Hey Pablo are doing is taking the piss a bit of both themselves and that posturing. But, there is more there. This is exciting music and an exciting sound. It might surprise some people that I rate Eminem quite highly because I hear a musical and lyrical intelligence behind his early work. I can hear something similar in Hey Pablo. Look, this may be a fun band, but something, and I have no idea what, is going to come of this. I have never heard a band that has so many and so few possibilities. They might just get to drink a lot of beer and have a good time, but there is an outside possibility that with determination they can use their musical and vocal dexterity to impress a wide audience.

It's a fascinating ride, and I'm enjoying hanging onto their shirt-tails. They will probably laugh that I am taking them so seriously!


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