There is music which is bred out of bedlam, sounds which are seemingly born out of creative psychosis and challenges which are feverishly psychotic; and there is that from Hypochristmutreefuzz. The Belgian noise-rock outfit create a psyche infesting collusion of all that and more; a theatre of fun coming to an insatiable head on their debut album Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia.
Meaning the phobia of long words, Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia immediately hints at the mischief and insanity at play with its off-kilter title spelling; traits swiftly infesting body and spirit from its first seconds. Instantly it has the body bouncing and imagination dancing, unpredictability and that creative madness fuelling every fascinating, entrapping second.
Hailing from Ghent and taking their name from an avant-garde jazz piece by Misha Mengelberg, Hypochristmutreefuzz has already teased and lured acclaim through a self-titled EP in 2015 and a host of surrounding singles. Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia though takes things to a whole new inventive and magnetic level. Drawing on inspirations ranging from The Residents, The Birthday Party, and Sonic Youth to Pere Ubu, Television, PJ Harvey, and The Germans, the quintet instantly traps attention with opener Finger. Teasing tendrils of guitar beckon first, their lures intermittently joined by an electronic throb. It is a lingering enticement with the sonic post punk causticity of Bauhaus and the instinctive though waiting dance antics of an Axis Mundi rising up alongside. The union continues to imposingly quiver as the vocals of guitarist Ramses Van den Eede add their uniqueness, his tones as distinct as the sounds brewing up around them and with all the ingredients in place, the track strolls along with a raw and infectious air; a touch of Asylums and Allusondrugs meets The Residents further colouring the irresistible adventure.
It is a compelling, thrilling start causing hips to swerve and appetite to lick its lips, a tempting just as potent in the following Gums Smile Blood. Getting down to even swifter business, the song offers a punk toned, electronically nurtured virility to its mouth-watering creative animation. Like a blend of De Staat, G.R.I.M, and Big Black, the track prowls and swings with the seduction of a rabid pole dancer before Hypochondria invades with the scuzzy antics of guitarists Jesse Maes and Van den Eede courting the jabbing beats of Elias Devoldere. Carrying a more primal edge compared to its predecessors, the song still flirts with a lightness of whimsy through the synth of Thijs Troch; dark and light, heavy and fuzz entangling across its eventful drama.
Chromakalim is a far calmer experience, its minimalistic entrance reeking of deceit and espionage as vocals stalk attention. That imagined tempest does erupt with unbridled rigour before swiftly settling down again waiting for its return in a volcanic chorus. The bass of Sander Verstraete struts with menace throughout, its intensity leaking into the discord of guitars and keys as the track spreads its mercurial heart. Nothing less than captivating it is still eclipsed by the sauntering haunting of Music Of Spheres. A noir lit, jazz cloaked venture to the atmospheric darkside, the track is a maze of sound and evocative incitement taking ears and imagination down shadow cloaked paths.
From there the album hits its pinnacle with a couple of quite manipulative encounters. First up is Elephantiasis, a slice of schizophrenic yet restrained noise rock which has the listener involved from its first trespassing breath and in eager participation by its vocal and musical meander a host of seconds later. A track which haunts the memory after just one listen it too is then overshadowed by a successor in Clammy Hands. The song is an asylum of imagination and enterprise; a fusion of flavours and styles which too needs barely a handful of breaths to seduce and enslave. A patchwork of vocals amidst an equally varied synth palette of enticing steals the passions even before its chorus has vocal chords hollering and limbs punching.
The mellow though no less cracked balladry of Don’t Drown only mesmerises if without the major impact of the previous duo while One Trick Pony simmers then boldly romps in with a rhythmic tenacity as vocals and add their lively smoulder to that of the sounds. The skittishness of the beats and throb of the bass has the body in eager motion whilst ears are drawn to the melodic beauty sharing their moment. Within it all causticity lies in wait, igniting its fuse further down the line for a scuzzy, electrifying and almost terrifying finale.
The album closes with the funky, noise jaunt of Spitter; a breeding of movement which starts in the big toe and has the whole body popping by its first vocal line and feverish by the time brazzy flames course through the tango of sound. Of course there is an acidity and rough play within its dance; textures only adding to the fun and energy of the encounter when spreading their addictive toxicity. Throw The Magic Numbers, Billy Momo, Pere Ubu, and Primus into a pot, stir with psychotic vigour and you have this, one gripping conclusion to one mighty album.
Its title might be impossible to say, still not possible after twenty tries or and indeed spell with ease, but the contents of Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia are manna to the ears and the loco in us all.
Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia is out now across most stores an @ https://hypochristmutreefuzz.bandcamp.com/album/hypopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia
Pete RingMaster 15/08/2017
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