Share THE HENTCHMEN - The Hentchmen (Dirty Water Records)
Essentially, there is nothing wrong with this record. The bass and the drums all bump and thump nicely. The guitar snarls appropriately. The vocals growl in all the right places. A Detroit garage band you’d be more than happy to stumble across on a bar just off the I-94. Except...
The Hentchmen’s claim to fame (though they try to play it down) was that Jack White – now a Stripe – was once a member. This kind of explains the reason for my lukewarm reaction. The Hentchmen sound like Jack White without Jack White. The Hentchmen lack that one vital element; charisma. They also lack a potential hit single. They sound like an endless string of
B-sides. They’re pretty good B-sides but they’re still B-sides.
I will take this CD and place it in the rack. Five years from now, I’ll be looking for something to play and I’ll spot this. I’ll say to myself : “That was okay, I’ll put that on.” It will then, after another play, return to the rack. I will enjoy it but I’ll never thrill to it. I won’t sing these songs in the shower. Even now, I’m forgetting what they sound like.
I read the press release that came with the disc. “If you’re like us, and believe a garage-rock album’s primary function is to rock, then the Hentchmen have mastered the form necessary to meet that goal. They rock for three upbeat minutes, then bound on to the next song.”
Dirty Water Records are absolutely right. It’s just a shame that the Hentchmen didn’t strive to do something more than just meet the basic requirements. - Bob Short
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