Minimal but strident and hard-hitting beat pop from Gibraltar of all places.
Year of Release: 1966
It's fair to say that bands from the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar have not been widely chronicled in the great encyclopaedia of pop. The island has in the past hosted major rock festivals and concerts, but its homegrown talent hasn't really made any significant impact globally.
H.T. were a group otherwise occasionally known as The Valverde Brothers (or is it the other way around?) who had a crack at pop success with this single. The minimal nature of it is immediately striking without being particularly hard-hitting. The verses consist of a simple pounding rhythm, the repetition of one finger-picked chord and something close to political protest singing. "We're gonna plant an acorn, yeah… when it grows in eighty years, remind them of you and me!" they holler, then eventually the chorus gains a tiny bit of traction only for the song to quickly slide straight back into minimalism again, the verses acting as peculiar strips of emptiness between the main action. It's structurally bizarre, but not threatening or snotty enough to be classified as garage or mod, far too meaty and beaty to be psychedelic, and despite its best intentions the jolliness of the vocals makes it seem like some peculiar hybrid of "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" and The Eyes. I like it for being so strange within the confines of quite a bubblegum performance, but I suspect it might be an acquired taste.
The Valverde Brothers never really had any success in the UK, but they did eventually achieve notoriety through their production and songwriting work on Peter Wyngarde's worrying album "When Sex Leers Its Inquisitive Head". That certainly proved that they had the chops for creating even more adventurous and peculiar work than this, but (perhaps for the best) their career as studio-men for politically incorrect perv-pop records was abandoned quite swiftly, and they eventually achieved minor success in mainland Europe with a string of disco records in the late seventies.