Thursday, 6 October 2011
HTRK Back To Work (Work, Work)
It may seem from a cursory, outsider's perspective that its strange - morbid, even - that HTRK are still together. The Australian band have called both Berlin and London home, their brand of cold, icy synth soundscapes evoking an alien landscape devoid of feeling or empathy, all masquerading as pop songs, and the live shows are delivered with an air of detachment yet innate sexual tension. Everybody wants to be loved, right? But in the seven years HTRK (pronounced Hate Rock) have been together, only two effective releases have come to light - Marry Me Tonight and this year's Work (Work, Work). Furthermore, the tragic suicide of band member Sean Stewart has rocked them to their very foundations.
However, it is apparent that Nigel Yang and Jonnine Standish - the two remaining members of HTRK - find the band a platform for expressing their own sense of what is happening in the world. Attacking a world viewpoint of indifference, Work (Work, Work) is darker and icier than Marry Me Tonight, yet much of this was planned before Stewart's untimely passing. Yang and Standish are quick to note Stewart's distancing himself from the traditional bass and gravitating towards more electronic based digital manipulations, especially after his time in Berlin. The culmination is a work that manages to unsettle, unnerve, yet connect - all of which are major attractors to the duo, and indicates that not only did they hit their intended mark, but that HTRK as an entity will go on.
HTRK will be playing in Brisbane for the first time, taking over the newly-formed Bridge Club on November 26. Ably supported by Nite Fields, Lakes and Secret Birds, this promises to be a stellar night of oscillating noise.
HTRK - Ice Eyes Eis
HTRK - Eat Yr Heart