Hada to Hada - Pike (VELO)
Hada to Hada, once described as "Dublin's best kept secret" have changed.
They haven't fallen foul of the old second-album-syndrome trap or anything
like that, but have consolidated their position as one of Ireland's best
(yet under-rated and unheard of) bands. They're one of those groups who you
would dearly like to see hit the big time, but know never will.
"Pike" is an accomplished album. It's a jazzy easy to listen to album, but
full of different styles. "Too Good for Words" and "Gun Metal Grey" are
low-key affairs full of emotion, and lead-singer Kieran Duddy's voice is
deep and resonant.
"Niagara" is Midnight Cowboyesque - about small people in a big world: it's
funny yet sad, and lyrically astonishing.
"My Cheating Lover" and "Oceanographer" are the highlights of the album.
The former is a desperate plea for answers in the game of forlorn love,
and balances the jazz and soul elements of the band's music perfectly.
Oceanographer is a minor classic - a song for the twentieth century.
It's well-informed and meaningful in the way that a band like Jamiroquai
aren't. When Duddy sings - "As to why they weren't informed of the
cadmium emissions or lead induced still-born ... or the North Alaskan
shore-line when Exxon Valdes split in two" - you can't help but sit up
Duddy's voice is extraordinary, as are the various saxophones and double
bass that lend an air of unfamiliarity to the music. But you know in
your heart and soul that bands like this will never be Oasis, and you
can hear it in Duddy's voice - the pain of knowing that he'll always be
more of a poet than a successful musician.
by Kenneth Foxe