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Hatfield And The North - Hatfield And The North CD (album) cover


Hatfield And The North


Canterbury Scene

4.26 | 739 ratings

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4 stars After listening to the Muffin's Mana/Mirage I suddenly had an itch to get dig back into my heavy Canterbury collection (Hatfield, Matching Mole, National Health...the real-deal Canterbury). I never really gave this album a chance as it was sort of out-shined by "The Rotter's Club". After going back to this album, I would almost say it is better in some ways. It is certainly a different album. It does not have the catchy melodic-hooks and directness of RC. This is a detriment on longer pieces like "There's no place like Homerton", where Hatfield fails to hold your attention and justify the length of the song. The major accolade of the album is that Phil Miller's guitar is very prevalent throughout. He is making no grand statements on lead guitar as he does in RC (Mumps, Lounging there Trying, Halfway Between Heaven and Nature), but he is playing fantastic rhythm guitar. His melancholic and contemplative rhythm work facilitates the shorter, undestated pieces like "Licks for the Ladies" and is the backbone to most of the compositions--a very uncharacteristic thing for Hatfield and any Canterbury band do the keyboard-laden nature of the scene. As Phil Miller is my favorite "Canterbury character", I cherish this aspect of the album. Unlike RC, this album is made up of many small songs pieced together. The hodge-podgyness of the album forces you to peel it apart like an onion-- something that does not happen as much with RC. In conciseness and content RC wins out, but this album is a much more subtle endeavor and It gives us a chance to see Phil Miller play the role of undestated and lyrical rhythmist.
fragile43k | 4/5 |


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