Hitch
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Hitch

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Hitch - Clair.Obscur (CD, Latest Flame, Rock)
Anyone who loved the more adventurous loud underground guitar rock bands of the 1990s will probably get a mighty big charge out of Belgium's Hitch. True to the claim of the press release that accompanied this disc, these guys write and record music that sounds something like a cross between Drive Like Jehu and The Jesus Lizard. Clair.Obscur is chock full of wonderfully skewed guitars, driving rhythms, and distorted vocals. Unlike most modern hard rock bands whose songs all sound alike, the guys in Hitch seem to purposely write songs that are all distinctly different from one another. So while the songs are mainly loud and abrasive, they are by no means carbon copies of one another. Plenty of big thick rockers here including "Art Nouveau!," "We Were All Wrong," "Dance Dance Dance," and "The Paper Beast." Good stuff, recommended... (Rating: 5++) - Babysue-LMNOP


This will throw you back a little. With this decade's domination by indie rock 'n' pop, the '90s fix on noisy, abrasive post-punk seems to have faded-outside of a few labels like Touch and Go and the productions of Steve Albini and Bob Weston. But if so, then this still-going '90s Belgium trio is intent on reminding us what we're missing on their fifth LP. It's really big and dark sounding, ornery, clanging, gnashing, and uncompromising, yet somehow they're still so listenable. Like a Wipers/Rocket From The Crypt/Fugazi/Wire stitch gone chrome-noisy, they fashion contrarian melodies such as the evil-catchy "We Were All Wrong", peeking out from the slam and clatter of toms-heavy tribal drumming, metal-clashing guitars, and trebly bass. Who thought the mechanized ear-pounding whir of a Benelux factory could be tuneful? - Big Takeover


From Belgium with love: Hitch
Belgian rockers Hitch are only recently making some waves in the U.S., but the band already have five albums under their belt, making them anything but new to the more hardcore side of the indie scene. Their hard-hitting brand of rock brings to mind The Paper Chase (it was actually mixed by John Congleton), who's record I just recently reviewed, but I also hear bits of The Jesus & Mary Chain and I'm sure those of you more familiar with the genre could probably fill in plenty of your own RIYL's. The band's new album, Clair. Obscur, is raw and urgent, using rough guitar riffs and edgy vocals to create a noisy, unpolished sound that makes for some great moments on the record and has served as a good introduction to Hitch.

Hitch keeps things fairly straightforward for most of the record, using brief blasts of punk energy with noise rock riffs for an explosive effect. Openers "Art Nouveau!" and "Carbon Wheels" set the tone, all spiky guitars and sharp percussion under singer Mich Decruyenaere's unhinged, shouted vocals. Occasionally, the band takes a stylstic detour, like the gloomy "This Is Where It Ends" or the bizarre, spoken-word tune "The Day Kid C Bit The Dust," but the music generally follows the pattern established by the first few tracks. Though many of the songs on Clair. Obscur are fairly brief, the record ends with the six-minute "Burn This Place" and the seven-minute "The Paper Beast," two of the better cuts that give Hitch more time to show off their ability to combine ambient and shoegaze elements into their more upbeat and immediate hardcore sound.

I don't believe I've heard much music originating from Belgium, but Hitch are certainly proof that some good things are happening there. To hear some of Hitch's latest tunes, head over to the band's MySpace page or check out their homepage for more info. - Chewing Gum For The Ears


Clair.Obscur
Hitch
(Latest Flame)

With their thundering blend of post-hardcore and punk music, the Belgium band Hitch returns with their latest release, Clair.Obscur.

The trio, consisting of Mich Decruyenaere (guitars/vocals), Paul Lamont (bass), and Olivier Wychuyse (drums) incorporate influences of Fugazi, Shiner, Jawbox and The Jesus and Mary Chain on this 11-track offering. The album starts strong with the manic guitars and heavy drum beats in “Art Nouveau” and carries that energy through the tracks “The Dance Dance Dance,” and “This Where It Ends.”

It is justified to compare Hitch to the great DC post-punk bands of the 1990s, but they do add in their own style and have a looser feel as opposed to polished. In a perfect world Hitch would be well known in the mid-1990 post-punk scene, but that doesn’t mean they are irrelevant today. Clair.Obscur is a great CD for those who love this kind of music. The heavy beats of the drum and bass are hypnotic and the guitars are fluid, making it a complete package. - Innocent Words


Hitch's new soon-to-be released LP, Clair.Obscur, seems to have the makings of being one of the best releases of the year. Musically planted somewhere between mid-90's Jesus Lizard to newer Drive Like Jehu, the band seems to have reinvented themselves with a more ominous-yet-familiar razor sharp sound. Making music together for over a decade, the three-member(yup, that's all) band doesn't seem too worried about taking their music in a different direction as they have a sound and style all their own to fall back on if needed. They are one of those bands that may never get all the recognition they deserve, but will be around for a long time making music regardless. The album was produced by John Congleton(The Paper Chase, Modest Mouse) and is is due for release in the States on May 26th via the Latest Flame label. Highly recommended. - Local Vertical


Discography

Clair.Obscur
2008 CD/LP
Vlas Vegas / Latest Flame (USA)

We Are Electric!
2006 CD/LP
Vlas Vegas / Moonlee Records (SI)

Trails Are Ablaze!
2004 CD/LP
Kinky Star / Decoder (Germany) A Couple Of Options/Seven South

A Couple Of Options/Seven South

2004 7inch
Kinky Star Records
Tracklist:
1. A Couple Of Options...
2. Seven South Hitch/Haymarket Riot

Haymarket Riot/Hitch
2003 split 7inch
What Else? Records (USA)
1. One Screw To Split In Two (Haymarket Riot)
2. Simple Mechanics (Hitch) Monolith

Monolith
2002 CD/LP
Delboy Records / Divot (USA)

* only on USA CD .hitch.

.hitch.
2000 7inch
Delboy Records

Out Of The Light, Into The Fire...
1998 CD
Delboy Records / FBWL

Triggered Backwards
1997 CD/7inch
Goodlife / Machination Records

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Bio

With their pigheaded and razorsharp indie/post-hardcore sound and their energetic live performances Hitch has been doing their own thing way more than a decade now. Strongly rooted in a DIY & Punk background, Belgium’s finest underground trio has toured Europe ten times, toured the States three times and has played hundreds of club shows with bands like GIRLS AGAINST BOYS, AT THE DRIVE-IN, MUDHONEY, MONO and CAVE IN.

In 2006 they released their fourth album, ‘We Are Electric!‘, which was recorded onto 2inch tape at Kozmo Studio in Zagreb, Croatia. In the meanwhile they have released a split 7inch with their friends from AMENRA on Vlas Vegas Records (VVR008).

In june 2008 the band recorded their fifth studio album with Hein Devos (aka the fourth Hitch-member) to be released January 26 2009. Longtime friend and producer John Congleton (THE PAPER CHASE, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, MODEST MOUSE, …) was appointed for mixing duties and definetely lifted the band’s signature sound to a new and higher level. New material is basic and pure, yet … very effective !

More than ever Hitch has reinvented themselves on their new album and incorporated very different influences such as the early nineties UK shoegaze bands (MY BLOODY VALENTINE, THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, …) to that typical mid nineties San Diego sound (DRIVE LIKE JEHU, SWING KIDS, …). In a way the band got back to their musical roots but injected it with their own sound.