Available on: Moshi Moshi limited 10″ EP / digital
“They shoot horses, don’t they?” So Horace McCoy asked us during the depression, and so Liverpool’s Hot Club de Paris ask us in the present, on the fourth song from their new EP.
And it’s a good reference point for Hot Club; the lyrics here feel like they’ve been lifted from mid-20th Century American literature, with talk of dance marathons, snakes in the grass, cops looking for guns long since thrown into the river, and a car sinking in a lake with its inhabitants tapping a no doubt atypical rhythm on the window pane.
‘Dog Tired..’ and ‘Extra Time then Sudden Death’ are the best tracks here; evocative imagery and doodling guitar lines working in harmony to produce the most bizarrely anthemic songs you’ll hear this year. ‘Fuck You, The Truth!’ is the closest the band have come thus far to making regular rock music, but the guitar here is chunky, stubby and unusually stifled in its repetition, like a Springsteen riff played through a broken record player.
‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’ meanwhile is a drawn out, tantric number based on a repeated spiral of the same five notes, building suspense with each tightening of the loop. ‘Noses Blazing’ opens with the lyric “It’s in my hair where the wind blows”, and the guitar lines are indeed free and breezy, swishing across the whole track.
With Days Like This is exactly what you’d want from a Hot Club EP – although it’s almost as long as their albums, with fewer tracks – unusual music about the small things in life and how, when laid out one after the other in a song, they amount to something quite extraordinary. It’s quite like Joanna Newsom in that sense, and also in the sense that both are very good. Hot Club always feel like old friends and this EP fits like a glove from the first listen.