The Hospitals
The Hospitals
The Hospitals – “The Hospitals (In The Red Records).

In the same way The Electric Eels made The New York Dolls sound like Boston - The Hospitals make the Immortal Lee County Killers sound like The White Stripes. Total fucking carnage.

If I do ever get too ill to remain here in the Bunker, remind me to book myself into a hospital other than the one operated by messers Stonehouse & Meyer. One of them (don’t ask me which) plays the drums whilst the other attacks his guitar with an angle grinder & screams at the bottom of his voice. These particular Hospitals are hardly going to cure anyone of anything – yet alone provide a caring atmosphere for recuperation – temporary or otherwise.

The Hospitals create what is commonly known as a “Godawful racket” - & bloody good it is too. Producing a mannerist canvas of any breadth & depth using drums, very loud, dirty guitars & shouting is always going to restrict the artist somewhat. The Hospitals are no strangers to restriction.

Of the 11 cuts present on the duo’s eponymous debut LP, one of them is a cover version of Suicide’s “Rock n Roll Is Killing My Life”, which gives you some idea of where Stonehouse & Meyer are coming from. The fact that it sounds absolutely nothing like Suicide is further proof that these boys simply don’t give a fuck.

Of their own “tunes” – “Freer”, “We Buzz Like Bees Do” & “Don’t Panic” possess vaguely discernable melodies – but if melody is what you came in for, then forget it – your gonna be digging for days before you find anything approaching a melody on “The Hospitals”. Which doesn’t mean you won’t scrape away layers of fuzzed tones with each listen – gnawing ever closer to the bone. You just have to get your teeth into it.

Usually the type of practice reserved for the mentally challenged & ambulance spotters – hanging around Hospitals could well become THE pastime kids just can’t get enough of.

Evan Halshaw – tMx11 – 08/03

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