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!

Dinosaur Jr
Sonic Youth
Bill Callahan
Jeffrey Lewis
Florence & The Machine
Resonance Association
The Roe Family Singers
The Peter Parkers

2008 Reviews
2007 Reviews
2006 Reviews
2005 Reviews
2004 Reviews
2003 Reviews
2002 Reviews
Best Of The Blog

News on submissions is here. Find me on MySpace and LastFM see what I'm listening to.

Who I Read
Advanced Theory Blog