So in 1995/96 the greatest band of the 90s (in my opinion) disbanded after 8 years right in the middle of the Britpop explosion. The band was called Ride and their lead guitarist and contributing songwriter was the very talented Andy Bell and so as one band dies another is born.
And that’s where we start todays musical journey.
Hurricane #1 were born in the same year that Ride decided to disband and go their separate ways. Signing to Creation records in 1996, they released the EP Step Into My World which reach the heady heights of 29 in the UK single chart which at the time was still a feat. To me Step Into My World is a classic Slice of Britpop with references to the many classic British scenes over the past 30. This was the song that I would use to open my set when I was a DJ a local Club for my Britpop night. When the bass hits at the 17 second mark it used to turn heads, but maybe that could of been because I turned it up far too loud! It was also a classic track to end the set with (you won't find I Am The Resurrection here!) with the massively infectious chorus and ending guitar solo it was hard for the bouncers to kick the last of the punters out! Releasing two more singles Just Another Illusion and Chain Reaction to good reviews and having gushing reviews about their live performances on their own tour and supporting the band 3 Colours Red things were looking good for the band. In late September 1997 they released their self-titled album Hurricane #1 to very good reviews including Q magazine naming it as one of the best albums of 1997. It’s been strongly referenced that the sound was not influenced by Oasis but actually inspired by them which you can hear on some tracks. This may be true but the band was far superior in their song writing (Thanks to Bell) and the pure musicianship displayed by the band and Andy Bells guitar playing. With sounds ranging from 70's wah-wah rock to double beats and songs fringing on the side of shoegazing this album had everything for a guitar music fan of the 90's.
Standout album tracks include Let go Of The Dream with its late night drunken sing-a-long chorus and rolling lead guitar sitting subtly behind the band to Mother Superior with its wah-wah opening to the slightly Oasis sounding vocal baggy beats. We find the closing track Stand In Line sounding like something Noel Gallagher would kill to have written. Close your eyes and you would think you were listening to Oasis but with BALLS!
We find their second album Only The Strongest Will Survive to have a slightly more open beefed up sound and the use of drum machines on certain tracks. Sounding like a band now more open minded to bigger production mechanics than we found on their debut this was maybe a glance of things to come on future albums but alas as with all good things Britpop it was all about to end in tears.
As part of the course in the 90's the NME was involved once again and slated the band to be sell outs because their title track of their second album was used as a song for the new Sun newspapers television advert. You see the thing with the NME back then (maybe even today, I have refused to read it in over 16 years) is they loved to build up bands just to knock them down. They started a hate campaign on the band and gave their album 2/10 and described the whole album as sounding like each other band that was around at the time. This statement is false and to be honest this can be said about any album by any band over the past 50 years.
Let’s not forget that Musicians like Andy Bell has been making music before the Britpop scene arrived and paved the way for bands to be recognised and get record deals and has influenced THEM to some degree. Take a listen to the album and you will find outstanding tracks like Rising Sign, Remote Control and the title track Only The Strongest Will Survive all wrapped in to 74 minutes of pure class.
Ahh! but who cares about musical ranting’s from a musical paper that I wouldn’t wipe my arse on if it was the only paper left in the world. What we are here for (hopefully) is the music and that is why im writing this down so people can discover bands that they might not have heard before.
Take a tip from me go and grab yourself a copy of both albums and bliss out to one of the best bands of the 90s........... trust me!.