Based out of Bristol, Hamburger formed back in 2018 after a chance meeting at a Vegan fast-food stall between guitarists Fearghall and Tom, although before you ask, it was a Burrito rather than the titular Burger that inspired them. What started as a trio, has gone on to evolve into a six-headed, indie-pop behemoth, and they are now signed to Specialist Subject Records, who this week will release the band’s debut EP, Teenage Terrified.
Listening to Teenage Terrified, it is clear that this is a very personal record, dealing with raw emotions and subtle reflections, yet presenting them through a vaguely farcical lens, an album that exists on the sharp edge between serious thought and light-hearted thrills. This dichotomy is present from the EP’s beginning, as opening track, All Hail Zebulon, fuses its playful title with a song that exists in the middle ground of Garden Centre and Elliot Smith. Elsewhere, Alien Song begins life like Delia Derbyshire in the BBC sound effects cupboard, before taking a turn for melodic folk, and Cut It Out is a jaunty jangler The Spook School would have been proud of, while the excellent Supersad more than lives up to its name with its introspective take on bedroom-pop. Hamburger seems to have emerged into the world fully formed, an instantly intriguing addition to the UK’s DIY-scene. As for the name, well it’s lifted from Philip Pullman’s The Subtle Knife, “where the two young protagonists, on the run from an inter-dimensional autocracy, hide in the cinema and eat a hamburger”, although I’m fairly certain they like a bun-based meal as much as the next person.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Hamburger?
Hamburger are Fearghall, Tom, Liv, Katie, Mike and Doug. We make pop about sad aliens, sad humans and drugs etc.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
The human fight or flight system is really something. We were all nervous wrecks. It felt like we were being chased by wolves but in fact we were supporting Snails (excellent Bristol band).
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
We wrote up a list of art forms to try but none of them seemed to stick. Tom’s human pyramid gig fell apart last year, Katie’s erotic pottery venture collapsed before she even got things spinning and Mike’s synchronised swimming troupe got all washed up. So, music was almost the last thing on the list.
FTR: What can people expect from the Hamburger live show?
Have you ever had a moment so intense and meaningful it has changed you on a deep personal level forever? You know that after it’s over, normal life will never be the same again and everything that happens from then on will be tinted permanently by that fleeting but lasting experience. Well, it’s nothing like that.
FTR: What’s next for Hamburger?
The last thing on the list of art forms is writing poetry with cans of alphabetti spaghetti so we’re really going to do everything we can to make this work. We’re really looking forward to being able to play a real show again, fingers crossed and we’re constantly writing and recording so there will be some more Hamburger flavoured sounds coming your way in 2021.
They Listen To…
Me Rex – Blooded Stud
Oro Swimming Hour – Orion’s Seatbelt
Soot Sprite – It’s Summer and I Don’t Feel Like Smiling
Heatmiser – Pop in G
Fat Heart – Our Sound