Introducing The Hertz Complex from London
Here’s another band that I am only reviewing because one of their members commented on my blog and asked me to, and I liked their stuff.
It is also an interesting story.
The Hertz complex is a band based in London but they have a distinctly international flavour and have already played in the U.S.A. having only been together for about a year. (Great name by the way but I forgot to ask how they came to chose it.)
The line up consists of Neil O’Keeffe on vocals and guitar, Paul Keane on lead guitar, Benjamin Balan on drums. Neil and Paul are both Irish, while Ben is Canadian. The band are about to announce a new bass player but their previous bassman was Frenchman Pierre Lassègues.
They play music which they describe as Post Punk Lo-Fi and indeed there is a raw edge to their style especially the vocals, which push the boundaries of tunefulness but quite deliberately. If you check out their promotional video on Youtube “Bassey” you will find a stripped down sound with that scratchy crackly, vinyl through a telephone sound that you get from The Strokes. The vocal is largely spoken with Neil’s Irish accent coming through beautifully as he tells you “You’re not going to be alone tonight, not tonight”. I seriously love to hear a regional accent in a song, from The Beatles, “Dirty Maggie May”, to Steve Marriot’s ” ‘Ello Mrs. Jones, ‘ow’s your Bert’s lumbago”
The band had only played a handful of gigs locally when they managed to secure a booking to play at the famous Whiskey-A-Go-Go, a venue steeped in rock and roll tradition. Led Zeppelin played there in 1969 on their very first tour of the USA, and it has played host to many other legends of the music business, both before and since.
I asked Neil how they had managed to get the gig and how much it cost them since there was no possibility that they could have recovered any of their travelling expenses. He explained,
We didn’t have any connections with the Whisky, we just sent the booking agent our email press pack. They told us they liked the tracks, and got back to us with the slot, and we effectively treated it as a holiday and absorbed the loss a bit.
By that time they were without a bass player again so they needed a stand in to cover for them. Neil goes on to explain,
We were put in touch with a local bass player through a friend of the LA band Hello Echo (http://helloechoband.com/) who we then met on the day, practiced for a number of hours and somehow pulled it off – what an incredible day that was!
We hired all the gear there from the rehearsal studio (amps, drum breakables, guitars) except for pedals and so on that were particular to our sound
The Hertz Complex have a Facebook page as well as Youtube and Soundcloud although for the time being you will not be troubled by an overwhealming choice of songs to listen to. It is “Bassey” or nothing really.