Surfacing: Hymns

on Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Words: Saam Das

Back in early February, I trudged over to The Old Blue Last, in London's hipster haven (Shoreditch, for the uninitiated) to see †Hymns†. This was one of the "atheist rock" duo's first shows, ahead of their single release on the perpetually brilliant Big Scary Monsters label - with Function Records also helping out with the release.

The more famous half of the band features Sam Manville, of the now defunct Blakfish, whose other band Vietwow! got the Surfacing treatment not all that long ago. He's also got a solo thing going and you can read about that and all sorts in this fascinating interview.

The less famous half of the band is the drummer - 18 year old Peter Reisner, the internet tells me. Pete also crops up in this video interview, where he and Sam explain that they're prepping a double LP release for the summer. Big plans. And in a further bout of research, I've discovered Pete's YouTube channel, which seemingly served as an audition to join †Hymns†.

The †Hymns† sound is closer to Blakfish than Vietwow! but can be broadly described as being post-hardcore. During their live performance, the main adjective I thought of was "loud", even though they do contrast the noise with melodic elements. Still, one of the barmaids actually tried to use scrunched up napkins as earplugs as the set blasted into existence.

As I left the venue, ears ringing, I thought that there was enough there for me to write about - and so it's been proved. I can't really remember what was going through my head at the time but I definitely remember thinking that the single sounded a bit like a noisier take on 'Pin' by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. You can hear 'A Punch To The Temple' (the aforementioned single) below, along with an old demo of 'Lily'.

STREAM: †Hymns† - A Punch To The Temple by bsmrocks


Buy the debut †Hymns† single from iTunes or as a t-shirt/download bundle here.

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