ONE MORE WON’T KILL US
Last Night From Glasgow (LP)
By John Curley
I first heard The Hedrons, the powerhouse punk/power-pop quartet from Glasgow, in late 2006 when I heard their single “I Need You” played by the English DJ John Kennedy on his X-Posure program on the London alt-rock radio station XFM. Smitten with the track immediately, I contacted The Hedrons via MySpace to get some info on the band. They told me that their debut album would be coming out soon. And they told me that they would be coming to North America in a few months to do some gigs. I made note of both. When the album was released on CD, I ordered it from the U.K. And in March 2007 when the band played New York City for the first time at the former Manhattan location of The Knitting Factory, I made it a point to go to the gig. Knocked out by their performance that night, I spoke to the band members after their set. And I attended their other three performances in Manhattan that year, two of which took place a few weeks later after they had played SXSW in Austin, Texas and another in July, when they returned to North America for a second round of live dates.
The album, One More Won’t Kill Us, gives the listener a good idea of what The Hedrons' live set was like. It’s filled with badass, irresistible, punk-tinged power pop. So, it’s fantastic that the album is getting a second life via this vinyl re-release by Last Night From Glasgow. (Full disclosure: I contributed to the liner notes of the vinyl reissue.)
The Hedrons formed in 2005 in Glasgow and were comprised of lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Yvonne “Tippi” Tipping, lead guitarist Rosie McClune, drummer Lesley “Soup” McLaren and bassist Gill Bickerstaff. They had all been in other bands and kept running into each other at a Glasgow rehearsal space. They decided to get together to play just to see what happened, and they really liked the result. They played shows throughout the U.K. in 2006 and released several singles prior to the release of the One More Won’t Kill Us album in early 2007. The band did three North American tours in 2007, including a West Coast support slot for several shows by Social Distortion, and had another very memorable support slot for the reunited Sex Pistols back home in Glasgow.
The album is full of snarling guitars, pounding drums, throbbing bass and Tipping’s strong and confident lead vocals. Opening track “Heatseeker” is quite impressive, a rocker that gives each band member a spotlight moment. The song always went over well at the band’s live gigs. The frenetic “Couldn’t Leave Her Alone” is quite heavy and punky. Tipping’s vocal is at the top of the mix. The band gives a tight performance on the track, and McClune provides some outstanding guitar work. “I Need You” is heavy-duty power pop. It’s got an in-your-face vocal by Tipping, terrific backing vocals by the band and more fretboard finery courtesy of McClune.
The powerful and precise drumming of McLaren drives the propulsive rocker “Be My Friend.” Tipping’s vocal on the track is strong and McClune shines with her stellar guitar work during the instrumental break. The band pulls out all of the stops with its great backing of Tipping’s take-no-prisoners vocal on the intense rocker “Falling Star.” It’s one of several highlights on the album. The excellent “Stop, Look and Listen” is a driving rock song with McLaren’s spectacular drumming at its center. It’s frenetic from start to finish. Tipping’s full-on vocal sets the pace on the rocker “Once Upon A Time,” and is underpinned with great precision by the backing of the band.
The first of two bonus tracks on the album, “Bad Charm” is quite a gem. It’s an infectious nugget of rocking power pop that features outstanding work by the band and a ferocious, kick-ass vocal by Tipping. It’s got great guitar playing by McClune during the instrumental break and powerhouse drumming by McLaren. It’s fantastic, quite possibly the best song that The Hedrons released during their too-brief history. With more promotion and some radio play, it could have (and should have) been a hit.
“Frame of Mind” and “Sympathy” are both good rock tunes that show how well the band worked as a unit. “Place Like This” is a full-on rocker with a solid foundation by the rhythm section. Tipping’s vocal is strong and the band provides good backing vocals. “One More Won’t Kill Me” starts out a bit slow and then kicks into gear as a driving rocker. McLaren’s drums propel the song, and Tipping’s vocal is outstanding. “What Am I To Do” features heavy bass at the start, then McClune’s guitar joins in. It’s longer than the other tracks on the album, almost five minutes in length. The band members all do great work on the track, particularly McClune and McLaren. This vinyl reissue closes with the second bonus track, “Dear Thomas,” which is a fun bit of punky power pop. It’s got a frenetic vocal by Tipping with terrific backing by the band.
The album is a great listen and it will leave those hearing it wanting more music from the band. Let’s hope that those rumors of a future release of the second album, which didn’t see the light of day, will come true at some point in the near future.
The album can be ordered from the Last Night From Glasgow Web site at https://shop.lastnightfromglasgow.com/collections/past-night-from-glasgow/products/the-hedrons-one-more-wont-kill-us-15th-anniversary-vinyl-album. It’s available in four different colors – gold, green, red and turquoise – one for each of the four band members.
For those in the Glasgow area reading this, The Hedrons will be playing a reunion gig to promote the vinyl re-release of the One More Won’t Kill Us album. The show will take place on Saturday, October 22nd at Poetry Club SWG3 in Glasgow.
The music video for The Hedrons’ “I Need You” can be seen below:
The music video for The Hedrons’ “Couldn’t Leave Her Alone,’ which was filmed during the band’s tours of North America in 2007, can be seen below:
The music video for The Hedrons’ “Be My Friend” can be viewed below:
The Hedrons’ 2007 Electronic Press Pack (EPK) can be seen below:
Clips of The Hedrons at England’s Isle of Wight Festival in 2007 can be seen below: