"Hinterland" is the second CD from Los Angeles songwriter/guitarist F. This 2003 release was created by equal parts D.I.Y. attitude and intense hours behind rehearsal studio doors. The lush, cinematic, and driving soundscapes of F's hinterland have been compared to Interpol, Doves, the Verve, U2, and the Church.
In 2004, F and some friends started a new band, The Distortions. Their brand new 2005 release "Exploding Teenage Body Part" is now available on CD Baby. Fans of The Distortions will definitely see the F "Hinterland" CD as the sonic precursor to The Distortions dark, lush, and explosive post-punk/shoegazer sound. For more info, go to http://www.theDistortions.com.
From Score Music Magazine:
I've gotta stop listening so closely to my first impressions. When I received a copy of F's latest release I thought I knew what it would sound like. With the dark cover art, a name like Hinterland, and a lead singer with a Marylin-esque look (of the Manson variety), I figured I had them pinned as a "I hate my mommy" devil-rock fad band. Well, I have to apologize to F and the rest of the quartet, because this CD is immensely better than my ignorant first impression.
While Hinterland is a relatively short album (my biggest complaint), there is so much depth in the lyrics and musicality of the six tracks that I had to listen to the CD several times to fully appreciate it. My first listen had me convinced that these guys were paying homage to the great U2, what with F's haunted, soaring voice and the moody, impassioned instrumentals provided by Dan Silver (keyboards), Jon Mattox (drums), and Steve Luxenberg (bass). After a few times through, however, I started to catch the subtle melodic tweaks and delicate samples that make this CD stand out on its own. Tracks like "From There to Here" sucked me in with their addictive harmonies, then kept me hitting repeat on my stereo until I caught all the clever lyrical twists that hide in each song.
There were only a handful of things that bugged me about Hinterland. For one, I really wanted to hear more. Six songs are enough to get a general idea of what a band can do, but no artist can show off their artistic range in that amount of space while keeping a sense of flow to the album. Also, the CD is darkly moody, in a Cure sort of way. It's a hypnotizing quality, but it can wipe you out when you're feeling weepy.
Truth be told, I had to work to find any bones to pick with Hinterland. F and his band have a sound that wraps you in its surprising depth, then gives you something new to look forward to each time you hit play. Yep; this one's a keeper.
....F maintains a tight, melody-centric and consistently enjoyable pace for the duration of its six-song EP, Hinterland. F chisels its sound from a block of '80s and early-'90s influences such as Peter Murphy, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, the Cure, and everyone's favorite inspiration these days: Joy Division. Gloomy lyrics, heavy synth ebbs and swells and emotive vocals permeate this effort, frequently resulting in catchy, at times beautiful songs. "Los Angeles Times", "From There to Here" and "Shoegazer" gravitate towards the Cure's softened later work, or the more naive, coy work of the Church. Opener "The Killing Sky" on the other hand demonstrates the more angst-ridden new wave style that has received a lot of attention by recent bands like Interpol...
Six tracks are included on this disc and things get started with a driving electro rock sound on "The Killing Sky", where keyboards and drama punctuate their mood. Compared to the likes of Interpol, Doves and U2, this L.A. band is creative and carries an atmosphere within their sound that is experimental and futuristic...Can't wait for the full length. (JC)