HAL Tour Sampler (Rough Trade)

Taking their name, at least in part, from the errant computer in “2001:A Space Odyssey”, this Dublin band have recently been supporting the likes of Doves, The Thrills and Brendon Benson, and it was at of the former’s gigs that a friend procured this two track sampler, presented as the kind of dinky 3” CD that was fashionable for little longer than its running time during 1988.

Hal take apart the dreary, dinner party soundtracking of the Coldplays and Keanes of this world and rebuild it in the image of something mighty. Buffalo Springfield and Super Furry Animals are stranded on the craggy peaks of “What A Lovely Dance”, only to confound such crude pigeonholing with a crazy coda that sounds like Brian Wilson’s lost jazz odyssey. Less frightening for the more timid, “Worry About The Wind” is a monstrous confection of 70s soft rock, whipping Electric Light Orchestra, Wings, Supertramp and Billy Joel up into something tantalisingly frothy. Should this Hal ever offer to sing you a song, Dave, be not fearful.