From 2006 to 2010, I Heart Hiroshima was one of Brisbane’s most celebrated and heralded power-pop outfits. The two-guitars-and-drums combo facilitated the construction of tight and impactful melodies, with quotable lyrics that made for perfect Myspace statuses. The band’s first LP Tuff Teef saw I Heart tap into an artery of effervescent artistic output; combining pointed and edged musicianship with catchy lyrical sentiments (the opening of ‘Punks’ still pops into my head regularly) that were exactly of the time and simultaneously so far beyond it. I Heart Hiroshima went into stasis not long after the release of its quality second album The Rip, with each member pursuing other projects (Slug Guts, Martyr Privates and Rick Fights to name a few) and international wanderings. Six years later the trio of Sullivan Patten, Matthew Somers and Cameron Hawes are back with a new single and promises of more to come soon.
‘Fifty Three’ picks up where the trio left off musically, but captures I Heart Hiroshima in a more reflective and sombre mood (something to be expected after this much time). The band has always had brief dalliances with sobering lyrical content, though never has emotion felt conveyed so bluntly here. ‘Fifty Three’ talks about time wasted, promises broken, taking advantage of second chances and never coming through with the goods. The song places singer Matt Somers in the position of the disaffected protagonist – stuck in a rut of bad habits and staid enthusiasm for self-care. Verse fragments paint a picture of life in muted colours, dulled sunlight dripping through curtains, dust motes dancing slowly in illuminated strips.
Exempli gratia: Matt asks us, “How many times have I told you that I promise to do it eventually? And do I really try? How many times have I told you that I promise to do it next time? Fifty three.”
There is thanks offered up to friends with endless patience, those that have been there and given passes for shit behaviour. Another promise is given, “I’ll try my best to catch ya. I owe you a life.” We’ll see if Matt is up to making good on his promises now, but I really like the introspective maturity of this track and I’m buzzing at the thought of more.