Jerusalem, the famed poem by William Blake, is hailed for its poetic beauty and nationalistic resonance. But delve a little deeper, and one discovers undertones of environmental devastation; a lament for a paradise lost; a poignant reminder of nature’s fragility. As the world changes, his words take on fresh layers, beckoning us to preserve the verdant fields and sacred rivers he so cherished. After all, in the dance of progress, must we tread upon the very land that sustains us?
Jump ahead in time two hundred years, with a pit stop during the 1980s hardcore punk movement, Blake’s sentiment is identical but delivered via video by British trio Hearing Tests. Their fresh-out-the-oven single “Patience” echoes with the ferocity of Black Flag and stands toe to toe with modern acts like Idles: bold and unabashed, they deliver a delightful mix of nostalgia and timeless wit.
In the “Patience” clip, a lone fisherman, lost in his thoughts by the modern-day version of Blake’s dwindling paradise, finds his riverbank solitude rather rudely accompanied by a monstrosity of Brutalism. It sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the countryside charm, mocking the simplicity of the landscape. Just when you think things might turn up, our man stumbles upon an utterly depressing parade of modern edifices. Makes one ponder – in this whirlwind of a world, perhaps we should occasionally halt, look around, and truly see. After all, the fisherman’s patience reminds us of the beauty in stillness, and heaven knows, we might just need a bit more of that.
Watch the video for “Patience” below:
According to the band, they strung the song together in one go, lyrics and all. Penned during Boris Johnson’s reign, the track serves as a loud commentary on the UK’s political climate then and now. Their fury? Inspired by the government’s handling of the pandemic. Toss in some inspiration from the iconic beats of Minor Threat, and hints of the legendary Fugazi, Dead Kennedys, Gang Of Four, Wire, and Shellac, and you’ve got a musical concoction that’s as potent as it is intoxicating.
Christening themselves after their rehearsal digs, an old ENT hospital, of all places. Fresh from this year’s starting bell, Hearing Tests is the concoction of Kuba Starzyński, who strummed for SULK; drummer Ed Harper (White Rose Movement); and Rob Daglish with his bass magic.
Already a promising live band, the ‘loud band from Walthamstown’ are all set to promote their new songs. Their next gig is in London at The Night Owl on 5 October at 7 PM.
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