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The Hiders

Dec. 18 • Northside Tavern

By C.A. MacConnell · December 7th, 2010 · Sound Advice

There are ghosts, and they float within the 14 tracks of The Hiders’ Four Letter Town. Both spooky and concrete, the searching lyrics are clear and important, revealing stories of celebration and confusion, of love lost and wisdom found.

A ghost in its own right, the title track is one that lead singer/guitarist Billy Alletzhauser kicked around for years before The Hiders even existed. Although he calls it a “simple song,” he recorded various versions, enveloped in a tricky, drawn-out struggle to harness and reveal the tune’s true essence. Some songs sit and smolder before they rise up to burn and glow. Some apparitions do indeed come alive.

At times, the overall feel speaks of sweeping land, train tracks or the simplest row of straight trees that blend to touch.

Other times, a curious, quiet night, a blue-green-gray sky or the echo of the cover of The Hiders’ first album — the black howling wolf. And then it just rocks out. Beyond the lighthearted crush, the lyrics dig into complex situations — the longterm lover by someone’s side and the rich history there, both dark and light. Sometimes a shadowy place, but it’s one you’ll want to revisit.

Between extra verses, catchy guitar riffs and lyrics, keys, sweet harmonies and more, this is The Hiders’ most artistically creative and dense album to date, packed with everything from Country to ’70s Rock to vintage, piano-driven dreams. Some could be called Americana with a melancholic vibe, but fresh and historic sounds spider-crawl out; each layered song telling its own story, standing alone as a musical painting with a definite place in time.

“The only thing I consciously set out to do on this one was to write a lot of lyrics,” Alletzhauser says. No three-minute rule here.

Read C.A. MacConnell's full interview with Alletzhauser here.



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