(The following article was written for ARTROCKER MAGAZINE, issue #113, August / September 2011)
It was way back in March 2010 when Artrocker first featured She’s Hit within the New Blood section of the magazine. At that point, they were an unknown band from Glasgow with relatively modest aspirations and although they had been playing together since school some two years earlier, they were in effect just starting out on their musical journey. (God! How I hate that expression…)
Now, some sixteen months later and with their debut album ready to drop (June 2011) it seems entirely appropriate to check-in with the lads again to see how they’re getting on. Have they fulfilled any of those early hopes and dreams?
We meet backstage at Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy venue. She’s Hit are not actually playing tonight, but vocalist David Wilson and drummer Cammy Wilson (no relation) are here to man the merch desk for label-mates Jacob Yates and The Pearly Gate Lock Pickers – another excellent and quite unique-sounding Glasgow band who are well worth checking out! (Tonight is the Launch Party for their debut album.)
Actually to be more precise, Jacob Yates and The Pearly Gate Lock Pickers are the first band to be ‘signed’ to the Re:Peater Records label – the imprint set up by She’s Hit themselves!
“We’d had the album ready for ages and just thought we’d save time by releasing it ourselves,” says David.
“And Jake was looking for someone to put out their music, so we just thought ‘why not?’” adds Cammy.
The label is very much at its formative stage with only She’s Hit and Jacob Yates officially on the roster, although there is also a one-off split 7” release available from Australian band Pearls and another Glasgow band, Berlin Heart.
The plan is simply to release music, that She’s Hit themselves enjoy, and although both Pearls and Berlin Heart exhibit styles similar to themselves, there’s no premeditated intention to create a distinct, identifiable label ‘sound.’ The lads remain reassuringly ‘cool’ in their approach, not actively searching for new bands, and resolute in their ethos of not doing anything purely for the sake of popularity.
“Nah. Right now it’s really just for Jake and ourselves,” says Cammy, no hint of guilt evident in his tone.
Starting their own record label was not on the band’s ‘to do‘ list back in March last year, but releasing an album most certainly was, although even in their wildest dreams they could not have envisaged the reaction ‘Pleasure,’ would generate.“It’s pretty mental,” says David. “We didn’t expect ‘bad’ reviews but when they come through and you realize people like it, it’s like…..’whooaa!’” (Amongst others, Artrocker awarded the album a five-star rating while the single ‘Shimmer Shimmer’ was granted the accolade of Single of the Month …. and I didn’t write either!)
The album of course focuses very much on the band’s already ‘trademark’ sound – one that has seen them mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Jesus and Mary Chain, The Fall, The Cramps and even Suicide. It’s an exciting concoction of noise, but there’s also evidence of a versatility that should help preserve interest beyond this debut. For example, ‘Lustless’ and ‘Forfeit To Despair’ both pare back on the pace and evidence a slightly more sensitive side. Both also feature the added sensual vocals of Jen Paley from the now defunct Astral Planes. Indeed, the former track was actually written in collaboration with Jen.
And it’s this open-minded attitude to enlisting guest-support that rather bolsters She’s Hit’s somewhat chic image – both in terms of physical appearance and approach to making music. For a while, Scott Paterson from Sons and Daughters helped out on bass for their gigs (they had previously always operated without a bass player) and played on the album’s opening track. However his own band’s commitments have since restricted his involvement, and now Fraser McFadzean (also formerly of Astral Planes) played on four of the album tracks and has now formally joined the band, making it a five-piece along with original guitarists Michael Hanson and Philip Mclellan.
This perception of a willingness to experiment is further enhanced by the inclusion of a bonus album with this release, on which all nine original tracks have been reworked and remixed by some of the leading luminaries in this field from Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“Andy from The Phantom Band offered to remix a track for us, and we wondered then about having all the songs remixed. But then The Phantom Band pulled out due to other commitments, so we just approached several other artists whose music we like, they all said ‘yes’ and we’re all just totally amazed at how different they made all the tracks sound,” says Cammy.
The album itself was ‘launched’ in London (Club Spangle @ The Bull & Gate) in early June, this being the band’s first show in the Capital. So that’ll be ‘check two’ from their wish-list of March 2010.
It’s fair to say that the album was long time coming. All the songs bar the title track itself appeared on the album demo that was produced around a year previously. Notable for their absence from the finished article however are two numbers that formed part of the band’s live set.
“We removed these from the album because we’re doing a Japanese EP release and we wanted some different songs for that.,” says David. “It’s been planned for a long while now, the intention originally being to coincide the release with the album over here, but it’s been delayed because of the earthquake and tsunami.”
“We were approached by the New Noise label who release for bands like Ulterior, so it’s all pretty amazing!” Cammy enthuses.
The lads’ excitement doesn’t end there. Three dates supporting Sons and Daughters in London, Manchester and then back in Glasgow had just been secured. And not only that, the added bonus is that S.C.U.M. (a band they specifically mentioned last year that they’d like to play with) are also on the bill! Check three!
No longer ‘an unknown band from Glasgow,’ this all seems to confirm the notion that not only are She’s Hit hip, they’re Shit Hot!