Thurs Sept 15
20 NW 3rd
If at all possible, stay the hell away from hospitals. They are horrific places, incubators for disease, and hazardous to one's mental health, even under the best circumstances.
If confronted with the Hospitals—a San Francisco trio consisting of Adam Stonehouse (drums, vocals), Ned Meiners (guitar), and Rob Enbom (guitar)—I have to proffer the same advice: Git yourself gone. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life shouting, "Huh?! Speak up!" every two minutes? I thought not.
Okay, now that only hardasses are left, let's get down to business. For people who need reference points, the Hospitals are the rancid hellspawn of Pussy Galore, the Fall, and Swell Maps. But not as studied and polite as that comparison sounds. The Hospitals descend from a long line of maverick, ne'er-do-well garage rockers. Rather than revere garage-rock conventions, though, these bastards pulverize Nuggets boxed sets into soot—exploding them with their trebly blasphemies of the genre.
Produced by Chris Woodhouse, the band's new sophomore album, I've Visited the Island of Jocks and Jazz (Load), bathes in excessive treble and reverb—its 13 songs (that race by in 24 minutes) are designed to cause maximum disorientation. They play with the sort of brute primitivism that makes "Louie, Louie" sound like the apex of baroque prog rock.
A spin of the Hospitals' self-titled 2003 debut album on In the Red proves that these Bay Area hotheads have never really conformed to the region's rep for THC-baked mellowness. This is music for those who care little about self-preservation—those who think they're indestructible. Note to band: My hearing-aid bill is in the mail.