Category Archives: album reviews
Hailing from Leeds, West Yorkshire, Hands of Industry have been playing live since 2013 and by taking influences from both 80s and 90s electronic acts are providing another welcome alternative to the myriad guitar bands. Unlike many electronic acts, H.O.I. opt to have live drummer rather than drum machine to give the more emotive human element that can often be missing from electronic music. It’s an effective choice and really will help them stand out.
This is their debut album release and we have to remark on the effective nature of the artwork; a superb striking image that really can help the album stand out. Inner artwork also compliments the whole atmosphere with bleak, stark images of decay and desolation along with choice lyrical quotes. So far so good but you may be wanting to know how the music stacks up and what it’s like right?
They describe themselves as falling somewhere around Depeche Mode mixed with The Sisters of Mercy and while to some extent we can see the Depeche Mode thing we don’t really feel much of The Sisters. If they must be compared to other bands then we would suggest there is a bit of a Numan thing going off, what with the live drums and the fondness for string synth sounds. Another band that springs to mind is Joy Division; the bleakness of the atmospheres involved and vocal tonality certainly bring Ian Curtis to mind.
There’s many a vocal hook on here that sticks in the mind long after you’ve finished listening and it’s a pleasure to hear some music that isn’t full of your typical arpeggios. There’s a lot of synth music that sounds rather like Erasure and while we’re big fans of Erasure here we don’t need 500 more Erasures. We always admire and appreciate something that does things a little different and H.O.I. please us immensely by not being just another copycat band.
While perhaps we could have used a little bit more variety in tone on the album it’s still not one that ever gets boring despite the tracks mostly being around the 5 minutes mark. Two tracks in particular that stick out are “It’s Not a Dream” and “It’s Not That Hard” which take a slower pace and have just that bit extra to stand out from the crowd, the latter certainly bringing Joy Division‘s Amosphere to mind. “Power in Silence” is probably the star track of the more upbeat songs with excellently timed vocal phrasing punctuating the music. If indeed you can truly call any of the album upbeat when we’re largely dealing upset most of the time.
Live dates at time of writing:
03 May 2015 MELLOR STOCK charity music festival
09 May 2015 THE CRESCENT PUB, Salford, supporting the impressive A.A.A.K ( As Able As Kane)
22 May 2015 THE DUBLIN CASTLE, Camden, London
29 May 2015 THE BLACK SWAN, Bradford, support from FACTORY ACTS (Salford) and DJ MARK M ( Mark Musolf)
Watch a live video of “Power in Silence” below:
FACTORY ACTS – THIRST EP
Last friday saw the release of their debut on the Analogue Trash label. We’ve been waiting quite a while to hear this after first being impressed by their music and performance at Hardware way back in 2012. We loved them so much we had to have them perform for us at DEF3 (December 2013) and threw our hard earned monies at them as soon as the EP was available on pre-order. There was already the delightful Senseless and Fantasy available on their bandcamp page but obviously this wasn’t enough, fortunately this EP is here to satiate our Thirst for more (And there it is the joke we were all dreading – Ed). (more…)
Well isn’t this rather nice? We’ve been sent a CD to review through the post! So impressed by our amazing critical faculties after reading our Vile Electrodes album review that they felt we were ideal to give a solid and fair review of their work.
So let’s see what we can make of this CD then.
It’s been a while. That we’ve been waiting that is. Not just since we last updated this site, though that is also true. Anyway we’ve known of Vile Electrodes for around 3 years or so now and they’d been around a bit before then. Even back in 2010 the album was ‘imminent’ and so it remained for the next three years until finally it’s popped up after quite a swathe of eps recently (well over the last year) (and if 3 counts as ‘a swathe). They probably had several million tracks to choose from that we know from their live performances. So how many have made the cut for the album? Is it a quadruple CD release on 80 minute cds?
Barnsley’s (don’t let that put you off) foremost electronic band have finally got round to releasing their debut album. We may be a little biased here at D.E.F. but we think it’s an absolute corker.
Entirely written, produced, arranged, recorded, mastered, promoted et al by musical force of nature Izzie Kirk, and she’s done it spot on.
It’s a constant annoyance when artists come up with and idea for a song and turn it into an album (we’re looking at you Gary Numan). Fortunate then that this album offers a delightful array of colourful soundscapes . Kicking off with the lighter touch of quirky pop opener Light Show, going through the slow and subtle (shall we say eclectic?) Hours and Days and finishing with the euphorically galactic (Here Is) The Light.
While the album never fails to be thrilling in some way at any point there are certain moments which we feel are stand out points. The track Hours and Days remains a firm favourite here for its stunning artistry. It is quiet, subtle and wonderfully inventive. An almost tribal beat and dual vocal lines create a dark mystery and give rise to swirling colours and shapes in the mind. In quite the opposite direction (though no less artistic) is Burn Down which is utterly irresistible dance floor material. It’s so driving it’s impossible to keep still whilst it’s on. Control Freak deserves special mention for some sublime melody work in the chorus and instrumental. There are some perfect note sequences there. Note sequences that just feel so incredibly right and they do SOMETHING to your body and you just know it. When these sequences come in they offer such expansion to the soundscape.
Also of particular note are the arrangements in the album. The songs are often quite densely packed with sounds but yet Izzie somehow manages to balance everything out and stop it becoming a cacophany. Everything is clear and in its place. Which is a lot harder than you may think and many people may take this for granted. Not us. We marvel at all those different sounds all living in harmony with each other. Also the songs structures are a fascinating departure from the fairly typical verse/chorus idea. Often starting on an intro piece which never gets repeated in the song’s main theme (such as light show). Just goes to display what an incredible creative force we’re dealing with here.
If we have to be at all negative we’d have to say we’d edit out Girl Star and Wasted and probably pair them up as a single or some such. It’s not to say they aren’t very good but they don’t seem to fit the journey on which the album takes us It doesn’t stop us wholeheartedly recommending you buy this album.