By: Jessica Grose
Though “Hail Social” just sounds like another band name consisting of two words strung together in a nonsensical juxtaposition, when deconstructed, the name makes total sense. The word often proceeding “Hail” is Caesar, which connotes a somewhat over-the-top flashiness bordering on megalomania, while “Social” softens the word “Hail” and implies that this band just wants to party. That contradiction gets aired stylistically when Hail Social offsets ’80s-style Duran Duran bluster and basslines that litter the spectrum at varied points between full-on disco bliss and maudlin post-punk introspection.
Hail Social tends to be more glossy and unabashedly poppy than serious-rock stalwarts for whom they’ve opened, like Secret Machines and Interpol. “Track #1″ (which is actually track five on Hail Social’s self-titled debut) sounds like the soundtrack to an uplifting montage where a wimpy movie protagonist beefs up to face his enemies. “Can’t be worried ’bout the other side / ‘Cause the other side’s worried now,” lead singer Dayve Hawk sings, egging on the invisible hero.
The highlight of the album comes early with “Get in the Car,” a three-minute stunner that starts out with an amazingly infectious combination of hand claps. When Hawk breaks in with his smooth, teen idol-sounding vocals, you’ll be fighting the almost irresistible urge to shake it.
In addition to opening for Interpol and the Secret Machines, Hail Social has shared the stage with many bright rockin’ lights including the Unicorns, Ted Leo, TV on the Radio, Ted Leo, Of Montreal and Elefant. Hail Social is currently on tour with Rainer Maria. Their self-titled debut is out now.
Hail Social tour dates:
8/19, Washington, DC (Black Cat)8/20, Carrboro, NC (Cat’s Cradle)8/22, St. Augustine, FL (Cafe Eleven)8/23, Gainsville, FL (Common Grounds)8/24, Orlando, FL (The Social)8/25, Atlanta, GA (Drunken Unicorn)8/26, Columbia, SC (New Brookland Tavern)8/27, Charlottesville, VA (Satellite Ballroom)8/28, Philadelphia, PA (First Unitarian Church)8/29, Hoboken, NJ (Maxwell’s)