So after a year of relentless gigging and the classic rock ‘n’ roll Catholic confession of drugs and subsequent rehabilitation, Albert Hammond Jr is back to some of his best solo work to date with the new EP AHJ. We liked it so much we thought we’d use the lead track from that record; the best thing for a Saturday night saunter through disco beats and that guitar we all know and love; Rude Customer is our track of the day.
This seemingly awkward track has a tension and anxiety which seems to emanate from the state of those tired dog eyes of AHJ’s. He has done what any true artist would do and that is to pour all of the hurt and fragility into his recordings. Rude Customer is just that, it’s essentially about a chance encounter with a waiter which leads our protagonists down a slightly existential path, all perfectly drizzled in disco beats.
The beats are rapid and fresh as the stuttering subdued guitar lines start to pull themselves across the page with a Strokes-y twang an swagger. Rude Customer definitely has the reminiscence of The Strokes early work, that is there is a vibrancy and a distinct B-movie cool to is vocals and delivery. Fraught with anxious teenage side stepping whilst maintaing the leather clad sneer of a true rock ‘n’ roll legend, Rude Customer is a cool summer night in Brooklyn, dissecting the social intricacies that make us, us. So, basically if Woody Allen could play guitar.
“It’s all just the sa-a-ame” – Rude Customer – Albert Hammond Jr
Rude Customer on the very basic level is a track that is destined for the dancefloor, it’s kicking beat and pop sensibilities can guarantee that, let alone the accessible lyrics and disparaging, self-deprecating tone that gives a little depth to the prominent slices of healthy riffs. On another level it’s an insight into the population swelling post-modern world we live in. But on the highest, most poignant level it is a song in which the artist is truly representing himself with a candid veracity. That’s something no critic can dispute.