The Hospitals

The Hospitals

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The debut album by the Hospitals is gleefully primitive noise punk by a guitar/drums duo that makes the White Stripes sound like the Electric Light Orchestra. Kids from the '80s and '90s who read about the "assaultive" sound and persona of early noise punks like Suicide and Flipper but were disappointed by their comparatively tame recordings will have no such problems with this. Drummer/singer Adam Stonehouse bashes his kit like Maureen Tucker strung out on a dozen hits of speed and a couple gallons of coffee, and his shrieking, atonal vocals recall the freakout tendencies of Japanese noise bands like the Boredoms, while guitarist Roddy Meyer plays pretty much every song as if he's literally clawing at his instrument. Yet unlike many other similar bands, for whom sheer ugliness is the only point, the Hospitals abuse their instruments and voices in the service of otherwise fairly standard hardcore punk tunes: the noise and the lockstep tempos end up supporting each other like two drunks staggering home who would crumple into a heap if they weren't propping each other up. It's not a "pleasant" listen by any stretch of the imagination, but The Hospitals is a lot more interesting than many similar albums.

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