Hard Stairs – I Don’t Know
People seem to be very affectionate for the original punk bands, I think, mostly because they symbolize an opening in the music industry’s tightly guarded fence. For a very brief period, regular folks with strange interests had a chance of reaching an audience through their music.
I am not very familiar with the work of Hard Stairs other than the fact that I like their single I Don’t Know. But, what I can assume through hearing this feisty little garage-punk number is that they’re regular people bringing their frustration, love and passion to these songs. Frankly, if I may be forgiven, this is the kind of song that I can imagine crabby waiters making in the basement after a day of being overworked.
From the opening seconds of the song, the band lets you know just how much they like power chords, tight drumming and the garage rock dynamic. The singing draws the listener in with a shouty style that would make performing in one of the group members’ living rooms an impossibility. Tight tune, passionate bunch.
Krekhaus – Mist
Some absorb the darker variety of rock music the way the skin absorbs UV rays when lounging out in the sun. Rock music throughout its history has relied and revelled on a dark, mysterious image and the sounds to properly accompany it, in the same way, that modern spiritual gurus might use it to challenge their followers to forgo society and donate to them their earthly possessions.
After all, except for a few genres where the musicians are required to be down to earth and related, e.g. folk with its rootsy appeal, we expect our rock to be dramatic, extravagant and act as a sort of would-be devotional ceremony.
Groups like Joy Division and Radiohead may have laid the groundwork for this. Bulgarian rock band Krekhaus have soaked all of this up like a sponge and deliver this on their ode to big city living, Mist. Their post-punk, grungy sounds are executed expertly and were you unaware of the information I just presented; you’d have no way of knowing this was not an American band. Bombarded with the influence of great Western music for decades, Eastern European rock has ripened and is worth having more attention cast on it.