City Slang: “Ultra Hentch” Revisited

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Before the White Stripes, before the Go, and before the Dirtbombs put out a single, there was the Hentchmen, three youthful looking gents who made an incredible ‘60s influences garage noise, before the word ‘garage’ would go on to have greater meaning in the D.

The Hentchmen play this year’s Blowout on the Saturday, 11.40 at the Gates of Columbus Lounge, immediately before old friends the Dirtbombs. They will almost certainly blow that room a new air vent, and that stands testament to, not only the stamina and longevity of this band, but the fact that it has remained relevant.

Ultra Hentch (gotta love that album title) came out in ‘94 and was recorded the previous year at various dives around Detroit (Genitti’s Hole in the Wall, the Hentch House and Tim’s Basement). It was self-produced, and it sounds like it was.

But that’s the beauty of this album. People throw that word ‘garage” around a lot these days, but Ultra Hentch genuinely sounds like it was recorded in a garage using cheap-as-shit equipment and junked instruments. It is lo-fi because it had to be. But the results are magnificent.

The passion, the primal energy, and the fucking awesome tunes that fill this record make it a semi-classic. From “Fly Catcher” and “Find Me a Girl” to “Chicks & Cars” and “Hot Rod Millie”, this is the sound of Detroit kids singing what they know and playing the only way they know how.

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