Review Summary: cheshire cat
Hoof Glove deliberately muddy the waters of noise rock and experimental punk music. It crumbles listener expectations with bony fingers and a sound that’s halfway between malevolent and celebratory, as if that’s a spectrum that actually exists. The music is maybe a display of masochism -- a violent outburst of glee amidst things violent and painful, because such is the nature of unadulterated skronk, I guess.
You’ll find this record on its own terms. So many albums labelled “noise” -- of their own volition or otherwise -- feel reactionary; No Trend was mad at the human race, so they wrote Too Many Humans. Arab on Radar were labelled ‘insane’ one too many times, so they focused their career on proving it. This one here isn’t so simple, from its sound to its aesthetic to its origins. For starters, S/T is being released on Leeds-based label Don’t Drone Alone, which – ding-ding-ding
, you guessed it -- built its home on the grounds of a more patient genre: drone, centring around violins (see: Chrissie) and…bicycles" (see: Hardworking Families). If we’re examining the meta here, Hoof Glove already catches the listener off guard, muscling in on a family of lovely projects who. by and large, allow you to impose yourself on the music. And the band name" What on Earth is a Hoof Glove" What purpose could it possible serve" Who cares. The band don’t.
So initially this thing is more uncomfortable than one might expect. Laura Tyndall’s lyrics are playful, if you’re keen on juxtapositions, and the riffing is reminiscent of some carnival ride theme tune gone horrible awry. Lewis Millward’s electronic touch walks the line between pure squall and textural accompaniment. It’s all wonderfully mischievous, imbuing the genre with a sense of humour fit for chipped, yellow-toothed grins and your Mother’s affected outrage.
Here is a band confidently hollowing out their own niche in the Leeds hardcore scene, beautiful and nonsensical, insane and inviting. They care not about making sense, and care even less about opening up easy access points for the unsuspecting hardcore fan. Give Me Back My Pet
is frenetic and irreverent and Marsupialia
is surprisingly danceable despite Tyndall’s shrieks – which pay no mind to the incongruously steady rock beat underpinning the chaos.
All up, it’s a sixteen-minute romp that feels closer to sixteen seconds, stitched together by an experienced group of musicians as though it’s the Frankenstein’s monster of Yorkshire hardcore. Call it Party Feedback, call it Deliberately Obtuse, but regardless of futile attempts to affix labels, the band will disorient us into falling onto the back foot. Then, we’ll make the most out of this dynamic by spending the next quarter of an hour trying to regain our balance.