Here’s a great review of our covers EP by Mr Arditi. It says things like “I’m happy to call them one of the best bands in the UK underground today (or in other words, one of the best bands in the UK)” and the EP is “the coolest thing in the history of the universe this week”.
Not bad at all.
Thanks again Oliver for your kind words.
Scroll down for the full review as well as a number of reviews for interesting work by other artists.
The Stringers are a four-piece from Ontario, that plays rock music of the old school – which doesn’t mean that it’s ‘old-fashioned’, but that it’s pop music, god dammit! This is entertainment, with no pretensions to any kind of creative territory beyond that compass; all too often that can imply some kind of highly manufactured, overly polished and self-consciously vapid ‘product’, but this is all about melodies, grooves and the raw sound of musicians making it happen together. Crisp, tight performances are represented in an immediate, close-quarters production, through arrangements that evince a good understanding of the small rock group’s expressive potential, without descending into ‘cleverness’. A variety of bespoke, guitar-based textures animate each lyrical mood, exploding at some point in each song into an outpouring of high-octane enthusiasm, bound together in a matrix of rock-solid percussion…
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Those lovely folks over at Striker Bill have given us a great write-up on their site. They frequently look at all sorts of cover versions by all sorts of musicians and had this to say about our version of the MC5’s ‘Kick Out The Jams’:
“To try to cover this song, long placed in the upper echelon of rock & roll guitar tracks, in this manner is equally a bold statement and an exercise in insanity. Yet the band makes it work, and the results are surprisingly compelling and mesmeric.”
A rather nice review, I think it’s fair to say. Thank you very much indeed.
You can check out the full review at http://strikerbill.com/2015/02/01/sundayundercover-blackhay-kickoutthejams/
We’re releasing an EP of covers this Friday the 13th. It’s called ‘Imitating The Jams’ and the tracklisting is as follows:
1. Kick Out The Jams (MC5 Cover)
2. Some Candy Talking (Jesus and Mary Chain Cover)
3. Imitating Angels (Nymphs Cover)
4. Sailin’ On (Bad Brains Cover)
As well as being available on our bandcamp page, the EP will be available on Loudr, itunes, Amazon, and a whole bunch of other internet downloading sites we’ve never really heard of or used before. How exciting.
The EP was self-recorded and was mixed and mastered by our pal Ariel Lerner at Little Wolf Studios.
Would love to hear what you think about our versions of these killer songs.
We’ve been pretty off-the-ball about posting anything recently, and have been keeping relatively secluded in our activities, but that doesn’t excuse the oversight of not posting up this brilliant review of our album by Oliver Arditi on his music blog.
He’s an excellent music writer, very incisive with his observations and seems to really get what the artists he is reviewing are trying to do.
Mind you, I would say that given some of the praise he gave our album:
“Swaggering rock-noir that seeks out the seam of self-harming, death-trip paranoia submerged beneath the entertaining surface of rock ‘n’ roll and drags it struggling and squirming into the light.”
“Black Hay’s debut album is a lot of fun, a darkly humorous and musically powerful take on sex, death and all of that rock ’n’ roll psychodrama malarkey.”
And my favourite
“There’s a spin on this material, a critical edge in the way its presented, that lifts it from the entertainingly stylish to the surpassingly excellent.”
Make sure you check out Oliver’s site – he’s got loads of great music on there you probably haven’t heard of. That’s how I discovered Blackwalls, who were one of my musical highs of 2014.
Thanks again, Oliver.
Kate from Trash Blog and BSTV came down to the last Speak No Evil night at the Macbeth in Hoxton. As I’ve mentioned previously, Speak No Evil is the monthly music event we help organise along with our friends in Georges Kaplan Presents… and JB Newman & the Black Letter Band.
Kate has written a really flattering blog piece about that night, and a rather complimentary summation of our musical efforts on the Black Hay front, including our “wonderfully croonerish quality that references the darker side of Johnny Cash” and “beautiful, maudlin textures” amongst other things.
Many thanks, Kate.
You can check out what this fine young lady has to say over here:
SexMusic.tumblr, also known as http://xmusic.fm has featured or song ‘I Feel Something’ on their blog. Given that their blog is dedicated to ‘music to have sex to’, we must admit to feeling right at home with the sentiment and bang-on target.
The track is available for a limited amount of time as a free download and you need only visit the link below to claim a download code for the track. Isn’t that splendid?
Those lovely folks at Against The Odds have been giving us a bit of blog love recently.
They called the album “Shamelessly good rock served in the most unpardonable of ways” and suggest that it is “played after midnight when you’ll enjoy it’s beauty to the fullest”.
Guess you’ve been told, kids.
In other news, I did an interview with Brighton-based blog Echotic recently which is now up online for your reading and viewing pleasure.
All opinions voiced are solely my own, should be taken with a pinch of salt, and kept out of reach of small children.
Thanks to Helen of Echotic for doing the interview with us.
Mr Neil Mason from mynewfavouriteband.com did our first write up for the new album on his site the other day. I have to say it’s a highly flattering piece with a hefty amount of feeling in it. What a guy.
You can check out the full piece at http://mynewfavouriteband.com/2014/03/10/blackhay/
Some of the choice quotes were:
“it fair stopped us dead in our tracks. It’s dark, Jim. And it’s rude, dirty rude. And there’s an album of this stuff”
“…where it really parks tanks is the duo of “Open Up” and “Lord Rest My Soul”. In these two songs you can hear an artist going places. They sound like songs way beyond a debut from an unsigned artist.”
“If the piano gospel of “Lord Rest My Soul” is in any way some indication of where Black Hay are headed, consider this a warning. We might have just written about a band who we can finally say told you so about.
The album is out on 16 March, don’t muck about eh? Get it. Consider it an investment.”
So you’ve been told. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
PS ‘Parks tanks‘ is now one of my new favourite descriptive phrases. Stolen.
The night is ours quite literally – the event is being organised by our three acts. We’ll also have our mate Darren Delany MCing and doing some magic as well as another band called the Dublo getting in on the action.
And it’s FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
We’ve done this kind of thing before, playing with JB and George. They’re kind of our brother bands, and we’re all mates so it has made sense to put on our own shows. We work well together and actually promote the events (unlike some folks wielding that title) and care about the details. We’ve been trying to make it so the night is more than just a bunch of bands playing together, hence having a magician this time, prizes, competitions etc.
Since we’ve started to make a trend of putting nights and all of us playing, we’ve started an event page for all our nights called ‘Speak No Evil‘. I’m presuming it’s named after the Wayne Shorter record but the guys from GKP chose the name so you’ll have to ask them.
And just look at that beautiful poster… Designed and illustrated by a Mr Dan Strange of Think Strange illustrations. A twisted and talented young scoundrel who has also been hard at work on our album artwork, so watch out for that.
The facebook event can be found HERE.
If you happen to be a London-based loon, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better show going on this Thursday night with anywhere near the same level of atmosphere or pheromones. THAT, I can almost guarantee.
Here are some recordings of songs you might be hearing on the night. Of course recordings can only do so much to convey the feeling of being up close in the armpit of the sweating beast.
To anyone out there in the next few minutes who happens to be reading this, 3pm (UK time) Today – (Monday 17 Feb) – Future Radio will be playing their ‘Unheard of’ show, including tunes from Wilde, Kiites, Grandaddy, Jetboy DC, Death Rattle, The Sandmen, Black Hay and Jacques Caramac…
You can check it out here:
The lovely Marietta at crackedwax.com had some nice things to say about our “insanely awesome bluesy inflections”.
I’m loving the deep-throated, twisted rock ‘n’ roll vibes of this track from London-based duo Black Hay, which oozes with raw magnetism, manifested in captivating claps and infectious riffs. While they’ve been compared to the likes of Nick Cave and Mark Lanegan, I’m hearing hints of The Kills in here, along with Edwyn Collins’ “A Girl Like You”, which I love.
Check out the article here, along with reviews and tracks from some other bands too: http://crackedwax.com/the-saturday-six-5/
It think that’s pretty accurate journalism there. 😉 Apart from the bit about us being a duo. Ah well, the picture is misleading.
Thanks again to Mad Mackerel. First bit of bloggety-blog love we’ve had for the new single.
The dark-hearted gothic-country of Black Hay makes a welcome return with the release of forthcoming single, I Feel Something.
It is the first single from forthcoming debut album Romantic Music For Perverts and delivers a pleasingly ominous countrified twang amidst appropriately lusty lyrics. Imagine if you will the Kills playing the Moonlite Bunnyranch in Nevada…
I Feel Something is out, ironically enough, on Valentine’s Day, however you can purchase in advance from their Bandcamp page here.
And on a similar note, we’re also very happy to be able to finally share the video we made for this song, our single I Feel Something.
It was all self-produced, financed etc. the inimitable Joshua Kahan came up with the initial concept for the video and directed it.
We had the privilege of working with some great people on this – patient, thorough, committed. True professionals.
We were also graced with the presence of Missa Blue, who if you haven’t heard of you should check out some of her performance videos immediately. She does some crazy things with candles.
Full list of credits on the video:
Video Directed by Joshua Kahan
Editing: Alessandro Zangirolami
Anna Tosh Hall
Ben Millar – Director of Photography
Patricia Delgado – 1st Camera Assistant
Anton Badstuber – 2nd Camera Assistant
Alice Woodward – Make Up/Props
Thanks to Shoot Blue
Let us know what you think of the video. Would love to hear opinions and feedback as there are plans to make more of these jobbies in the future.
Proud to announce that we will be officially releasing our first single from the forthcoming album. ‘I Feel Something’ will be out on the 14th February 2014 – Valentine’s Day.
And about time.
You can buy it from our Bandcamp page.
The song was produced by David Ezra and myself and features, amongst other things, the wonderful vocals of my dear friend Anna Tosh Hall, formerly of Shotgun Venus and The Self, now playing kickass guitar for Love Nor Money.
Stay tooned for more about shows and other little tidbits.
I’m Gideon, and I’m writing about my band Black Hay. We’re slightly weird and perverted form of rock band from London. It’s only really become a proper band again relatively recently though; before that it was just me writing songs and making records for the sake of making music that is important to me. We’ll get to all of that in due time.
So, why start a blog?
Why the fuck not?
The new year seems like as good a time as any to take new initiative. If you’re one of those people who occasionally turns on the radio or TV and thinks “Who is it they make crap for? It’s certainly not me.” Then I reckon there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find something to like about Black Hay.
If we work on the (bogus) assumption that 90% of the planet won’t have any use for this music, that leaves a good 10%. The current estimate of world population is around 7.1 billion people, and 10% of that is 71 million. So this blog is part of an attempt to reach out and speak to those people. Whoever they are.
The main point of this blog is just to have a place where we can share stories and anecdotes about various adventures we get up to, people we meet, things we find out. we think is important from the vantage point of our little corner.
Obviously, it being a band we’re going to tell you about gigs, releases, projects, and that kind of thing but we’re hoping to make things a little more intriguing than the typical spinal tap-isms of your average guitar-wielding knob-jockey.
The comments section is open, and encouraged, and unless it’s ridiculously inappropriate or spammy, will be left for all to see – any and all critiques, criticisms and feedback are well-received.
That’s it as far as introductions go for now.
Happy new year. It’s going to be a good one.