Huddersfield's five-piece Hipstream feature the literally amazing vocals of Natalie and Gaff over the top of some equally amazing blues-soul-jazz created by Ski's lead guitar alongside Ian, Reid and Paul. How impressed am I with this? Oh, about this much [arms stretched wide].
To be honest there isn't really that much I can say about the CD because I am now confessing to knowing absolutely nothing about this genre, but hey.... if this is the quality that can be produced by a local band on a 7-track demo, then what else is out there?
Whilst being so relaxing at times it can also create such an atmosphere at others. A funky jazzed up affair, opening track "Hipstream" is probably my favourite, though many others are not far behind - including title track "Out of the Picture". It is no wonder why this band have been asked to support acts such as Asian Dub Foundation, The Hamish Stewart Band and Sneaker Pimps and proof to the praising comments that they received in Melody Maker earlier on this year: "Yes, please, it sounds so very appetising. The lyrics - they're something special all delivered by foxy singer Natalie. Feel the funk".
And to quote my brother: "This band is really good - they sound like Gomez a bit, on the first song anyway. And it's really professionally presented - looks almost like you bought it from HMV. Can I have it?".
The final official track on the CD (it's a 7-song CD but actually contains 10 tracks, or "snippets") is "Don't Give it Away" which is a more mainstream, mellow keyboard-based song. In my opinion this is a different style for the band from the rest of the CD and it goes down a sound I don't particularly enjoy. It's quite similar to Beautiful South in style, so if I can choose my least favourite this would be it.
All in all then, 6 tracks out of 7 I enjoy immensely, one not so much. To get someone so enthusiastic about a genre they've never listened to before must surely be in their favour. Thank you for the enlightenment Hipstream, it's nice to be shown the errors of my musically narrow-focused mind.