Black Hats’ new single ‘Button Down Shirt’ comes after their debut EP Austerity For the Hoi Polloi, which added to and strengthened the band’s back catalogue as a firmly established Oxford act. To reward them, the limited edition CD single is being sold in pre-release shows, so that their original fans can be first in line. (The download is available as a pay-what-you-want).
The track is an energetic pop punk burst with a chorus that’s easy to get along with, the line “out of mind, out of sight!” hammering home every time. The light synth and lyrics capture typical Saturday nights out in honest and playful terms, à la Arctic Monkeys. Halfway through something that sounds suspiciously like steel drums is thrown into the mix, upping the Hawaiian vibes. It’s not as complex or as aggressive as their first EP, but a diverse output is no bad thing and it’s no marked departure.
‘Button Down Shirt’ is a difficult song not to enjoy; it’s listenable and cheeky, like Blur on a lad’s night out perhaps. The melody is stronger than in their last EP where a slight sense of bitterness was the driving force. The stress in this song seems to be on the pop rather than the punk, and Black Hats are moving from strength to strength.
Released on 26th November 2012.