But what a test ride it had become. From one amazement into another surprise, 'Regional Indifference' is something out of this place, something you won't hear very often. At the same time it's also something you will have to get used to but nonetheless, this is a fascinating release.
First things first. Bi-Hour consists of two childhood friends who grew up in what they call a "cultural backwater". Personally, I can understand that. I too come from a place where music and art were completely unknown and misunderstood phenomena. People rather went to the local football team or eat crappy meatballs at a cigarette smoke filled café. Some of them became serial killers, but that is a whole different story. I just moved to Antwerp where music, art and literature are buzzing and alive but I'm not sure if such a move is possible if you live in Tasmania.
The album is a concept album about living in such a cultural backwater and about how it would look if Hobart would suddenly become a thriving cultural city. With twenty songs, Bi-Hour deliver something out of the ordinary, something most journalist have called avant garde synthpop or post punk. Throughout songs like 'Name Drop Melbourne Locations to Sound Groovy', 'Impudence of Simplicity' and 'Warrior of Bureaumass' a heap of acts come to mind, including a mutant version of Pet Shop Boys or Depeche Mode, some Suicide, a hint of Throbbing Gristle, the outrageous Nick Cave of Birthday Party and even the eerie sound of dark industrial acts.
'6 x 4' does something with ambient and soundscapes while 'Fridge' invites you to the darkest of dancefloors. Suddenly Virgin Prunes come to mind too. 'Refrigerator' sounds like an ancient Nintendo game soundtrack and 'Janitor' comes up with sweet and cute synthpop. Then there is also the synthetic punk rocker 'All Work and No Facial Piercings Makes Jack a Dull Boy' which in terms of simplicity and roughness even bring Sex Pistols to mind, be it in an electronic version. It's actually just another of many odd tunes on a highly remarkable album. Obviously, I will recommend it to all you weird eighties fans out there.