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The Hinterland - Bullet Proof (self-released)

31 May 2024

I’m always a bit dubious when I see a band compared to Crowded House in their own press release; it is, after all, a bold claim. Usually, it is either wishful thinking on the part of the band, or an oversell on the part of their PR company. Usually. But not here. Here, on “Bullet Proof”, the lead single from the EP of the same name, The Hinterland does echo that iconic band’s melodic deftness and harmonious vocal dexterity.

Obviously, it isn’t a case of plagiarism, plundering, or repackaging past glories. There is much more that is fresh here than overly familiar, but that nod to such an influence, especially in the layering of the vocals and the agile but brilliantly done melodic balancing act between the pop and rock worlds, is fantastic.

There is a wonderful dynamic build from subtle pop to searing rock that takes us through some lovely lulling lows and sonic crescendos. A cool piano line weaves its way through the song, often the mainstay, occasionally giving way for some solid guitar work but always an integral part of the process, when not heard, still felt.

I do like a good pop song, and this is a great one. Pop has for so long been almost a swear word; a genre looked down on by self-appointed rockists and cooler-than-thou indie kids. But this is pop, poised pop, intelligent pop, pop with a PhD, pop as smart as it once was, as deftly done as it should be and as great as the genre can be again, thanks to artists such as The Hinterland.

The Hinterland