THE HENTCHMEN with Jack White
Release Date: 9th July 2007
Label: Italy Records
For Fans Of: The White Stripes, The Sonics, The Damned
Halloween ’92 – three drunk kids living in the past decide to pick up some instruments and start playing some ‘gigs’ as the Hentchmen on the jag. Five years later on that very same night David Dunbar Buick releases the first 45 rpm record on his own imprint, Italy Records as a career move. That single is Rocket 455 ‘Ain’t Right Girl’ and has nothing to do with this story. Early ’98 – Italy releases the first White Stripes 45, I-003 and the umpteenth 45 for the Hentchmen, ‘Some Other Guy’ b/w ‘Pyscho Daisies’ (I-004) featuring Jack White on lead guitar and vocals – Jack having found time to lend the kids a hand between 2 Star Tabernacle, The Go and his ‘little’ project the White Stripes. Having a regular oddball in the studio the boys decide to record a nine song LP, Hentch-Forth (I-008) and an instrumental 45, ‘Ham And Oil’, this time with Jack on bass and back up vocals – the LP coming out the same day as the second White Stripes 45 (I-006) all of which were limited to 1000 vinyl only units and that was it, end of story.
Fast forward nine years, all the way into the next century and what will , in hindsight become known as the digital age – David and Johnny (and in time, all the rest) decide it’s finally time for the Hentchmen to jump on board, so they transfer the tapes to digital format , remix and re-master with a touch up here and there. Add all four single tracks in their entirety and one unreleased outtake and for the first time ever you have yourself Hentch-Fourth.Five. Packaged in a rather fancy deluxe digipak within the album lay 14 essential garage rock and roll tracks from Detroit's heyday. Well 1998.
This album crystallizes a time before the White Stripe international explosion, when Detroit’s music scene was an incestuous miasma of band-hoping, benedryl buzzing and pre-myspace. The Hentchmen’s sound was an imagined 1965 - organ fuelled rock of the purest kind, influenced things like the Trashmen, the Sonics, DEVO, early the Damned – only more rare. Though White lived in an imagined 1865 (the year of the Gentleman), his nascent guitar blisterings, basspertise and blueschild voice gelled well with the threesome’s fraternal chug.
The reissue of Hentch-Forth.Five on compact disc will be welcomed by Stripes fans, Hentch acolytes and everyone between.