Formed in Kent back in the late 90s, British electro pop act H2S04 — Graham Cupples (keys, programming), Darren Till (keys, programming) and James Butler (vocals, bass) — features a collection of accomplished musicians: Cupples previously led techno acts Mortal and Code. Till played with Cupples in Code. Butler contributed bass and vocals in indie rock act Lobster, which was once known as Sulpher.
Initially tracing their origins back to when they started experimenting with a series of remixes, the members of H2S04 began writing original material that blended electronica, rock and techno paired with a special attention to songwriting. Their debut single, 1998’s “Little Soul,” which featured a foreboding song, quickly became popular in English — and because of its extremely limited release, a collector’s item.
The British trio’s 1999 full-length debut Machine Turned Blues featured the aforementioned “Little Soul,” “I Need Feel,” “The Way I Want,” and “Imitation Leather Jacket,” a track that was a favorite among British DJs, while receiving radio play here in the States. The trio supported Machine Turned Blues by playing a series of festivals across the British festival circuit, including Glastonbury — and they played shows in Canada and Chicago.
2000’s Glamtronica saw the British trio further establishing their sound while adding a playful sense of satire to the mix. The act largely disappeared until 2015’s Under Control and 2021’s Love and Death.
“Fast Cars” H2S04’s first single of 2022 is centered around skittering tweeter and woofer ratting thump, buzzing synths, crooned vocals, relentless motorik groove and enormous, arena rock friendly hooks paired with a swaggering air. The end result is a song that sonically nods at Kasabian, The Chemical Brothers and Evil Heat era Primal Scream meant to be played as loud as humanly possible.