The Hatch
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The Hatch

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Written by Laura Hamlett
Tuesday, 01 August 2006

I've become convinced that every single, solitary genre of music has become overstuffed. You can say all you want about the plethora of indie rock releases, the overabundance of superficial pop music on the airwaves, the neverending line of heavy metal bands from here 'til next summer that the kids just can't seem to get enough of. Even major label releases can fall into the cracks; imagine how difficult it is, then, for an independent band to get any sort of recognition.

That said, I still maintain that, if a band or an artist is good enough, it will find an audience. It may be a slow process, an organic growth (and that's not always a bad thing). It may be a sudden rise to fame, thanks to blogs or MySpace of word of mouth. Or, more likely, it may be somewhere in the middle.

After showing us what they could do with a couple of demos, Los Angeles foursome the Hatch-Sean Douglas (keyboards, lead vocals), Jesse Macht (guitars, vocals), Todd Rubin (bass), and Austin Schumacher (drums)-have finally released a proper album. Want an easy categorization? The Hatch is pure pop-rock: think Maroon 5, if you want an easy comparison. And while the album lacks one critical aspect of the band's live performance—namely, the four members' infectious stage presence—it's still a respectable offering from a very talented young band.

At the top of my list on this disc is "Find Them," a song I remember fondly from the band's last St. Louis performance. It's a keyboard-driven, groove-inducing crooner which finds frontman Douglas confessing, "My baby's got no secrets/and I'm still trying to find them." This song crosses many genres, dipping into light R&B oh, so effortlessly, and proving the Hatch to be a band with potentially mass appeal and real talent.

Other highlights include the mellower "The Morning," which finds Douglas reassuring, "It's all right now/the morning's almost here"; the "ooh, ooh" singalong of the feel-good "One Man Show"; and the dirty dance number, "Dancefloor," which will have you shaking it. Douglas' vocals are full, sexy; trust me when I say he's got that perfect pop star voice, with just the right amount of bedroom allure.

Disc closer "A Place Like This" shows a more mature side of the Hatch. A sampled intro leads into a down-tempo groove, as textured, falsetto vocals give the refrain-not much more than a recitation of the title-an ethereal quality. If there was any doubt that some bands are meant to rise above their peers, this is it. Ultimately, Fit to Burst shows a depth of songwriting and performing from a promising young band. www.thehatchmusic.com - Playback St. Louis


BY VANESSA SALVIA
July 7, 2006

The Hatch's new album was released officially on June 13, but merely three weeks later, they're already touring the West Coast in support of it. The band's tour diary highlights some of the hard knocks this three-year-old foursome has already experienced. For instance, at a show in San Luis Obispo, the club owner neglected to tell the band they would need to provide their own mics, stands and cables, necessitating a return trip back where they started.

Presumably the audience was glad to hear the band fully amplified. The Hatch's brand of indie/pop/rock just wouldn't have sounded so sweet performed at no volume. The new album is Fit To Burst, and it's easily likeable, danceable rock. The four guys tightened up their sound to appreciative audiences at the University of Washington, where the college newspaper hailed them as the main "campus band." Now that three of them have graduated and are back home in LA, the focus is on the music.

The album's opening strains of "New York City Women" and "Put You Out" reveal that these guys can shake out rock like some people shake hands, rock that's fun, easy and just gritty enough to feel real. "Find Them" finds the band exploring a funky, smooth rhythm guaranteed to fill up the dance floor. On other tracks, the band explores its slow sentimental side. Too literate to truthfully be called ballads, the slow songs nonetheless reveal the heartache of breaking up and making out. Vocalist Sean Douglas croons with an earthy intensity that's just right for dancing, be it slow or otherwise. It's clear these guys all have songwriter's souls, and soulful souls, which they readily reveal in all these songs. - Eugene Weekly


[These] four twenty-somethings play as if they’d been doing so, in this formation and with these songs, for many, many years: They’re that practiced, that talented.

But we all know it takes more than talent to make it in the music business—or, hell, to capture a chatty crowd’s attention at a jam-packed concert venue—and The Hatch have that, too. That indefinable je ne sais quoi: the love of music, of writing, playing, performing, giving it their all.

-Laura Hamlett, March, 2005 - Playback St. Louis


"Keaton spawn Sean Douglas performed at the Hollywood Life House on Saturday to a packed and pumped crowd. The band jammed so hard they temporarily blew out the power, and one hot and bothered fan screamed out, "Sean, I want to spend the night with you!" The blushing singer mumbled, "I'm sorry, that's not the name of one of our songs," while his dad, who was perched on a chair to see over the crowd, just laughed."
nydailynews.com 1/2008 - nydailynews.com


"Michael Keaton makes his directorial debut with The Merry Gentleman, a soulful drama that shows the one-time caped crusader is as comfortable behind the camera as he is in front of it. As an icing on this already satisfying cake the film's elegant soundtrack, composed by Jonathan Sadoff and Sean Douglas, underscores crucial beats in the story with masterful precision."
-zoomin.com 1/2008 - zoomin.com


"Most come to DC9 expecting – to some degree – a warts and all show that leaves a little to be desired. One thing you don’t tend to expect is the kind of polish that came from The Hatch... and all that practice and time together has served them well – they’re an extremely tight band, well-trained in all their songs' melodic turns. it was the sort of modern rock that could get this band a hit someday... call it good stage presence and duly note that they got the crowd up and dancing."
The DCist 5/2007 - the DCist


"If you like the do-it-yourself funk rock of Maroon 5, you will not be disappointed by the Hatch."
Washington University Student Paper, Jess Minnen 11/2003 - Wash. U. Student Paper


The Hatch write catchy pop-rock in the vein of Scissor Sisters (that'd mean early Elton John if you're over the age of 40). Accessibility is the name of the game here and it's achieved with aplomb. Watch out for this 3-piece blazing their way across your fave FM pop station soon.
-NYC.com 1/2008
- NYC.com


Discography

Metropolitan Studies EP (2004): airplay on 101.1 The River (St. Louis), Indie 103.1 (Los Angeles), XM Unsigned
Fit To Burst LP (2006): Debut full-length release on iTunes, airplay on iChannel Music, XM Unsigned, 101.1 The River, Indie 103.1, UCLA Radio
Run EP (2007): iTunes release in November

Photos

Bio

Formed in St. Louis, now Brooklyn based pop/rock group, The Hatch, channels Michael Jackson, Elton John, The Band, The White Stripes and Jon Brion into a sound on their debut LP, FIT TO BURST. The band employs an indie-rock business model to drive forward its radio-ready rock songs dressed in RnB style. With about 20,000 friends on MySpace, the experience of being a finalist on FOX's The Next Great American Band, and opening for national acts such as Phantom Planet, Plain White T's, Live, and Robert Randolph, The Hatch is poised to catch today's desensitized pop fan off guard.

FIT TO BURST and The Hatch's video podcast are available on iTunes. THE HATCH has: - Over 19,000 myspace fans spread across the globe. - Consistent radio play on 101.1 WVRV (St. Louis), Indie 103.1 (L.A.), and XM Radio Unsigned. - Opened for natl actls: Josh Kelley, Live, Robert Randolph, Stephen Kellogg, Ingram Hill, Phantom Planet, The Bacon Brothers, Fishbone, Brian van der Ark (of The Verve), and Sponge among others. The four twenty-somethings play as if theyd been doing so, in this formation and with these songs, for many, many years: They're that practiced, that talented. But we all know it takes more than talent to make it in the music businessor, hell, to capture a chatty crowds attention at a jam-packed concert venueand The Hatch have that, too. That indefinable je ne sais quoi: the love of music, of writing, playing, performing, giving it their all. -Laura Hamlett, Playback St. Louis, March 2005