Though music constantly sparks the passions whether through new proposals or simply going back to past adventures of pure joy there are some moments which ignite and excite the spirit and imagination like few others. For us one is the new album from Dead Hippies, a collection of tracks which voraciously burrowed under the skin as they inflamed an instinctive hunger for sound.
Dead Hippies is the creative project of Arnaud Fournier, the lead guitarist in The Hint and La Phaze. 2013 saw debut album, Kill Me Sweety, unveiled to a strong critical welcome. Whereas, it had a mainly instrumental landscape emerging from a fusion of rock and electronic enterprise its successor is a thickly bolder affair as noise, post rock, electro and dance-floor sounds collude in a rousing emprise of aural incitement. As with the first release, there is much more to each album’s body than the descriptions given, Resister a tempest of flavour and textures bound in a thrilling contagion soaked trespass further aroused by the diverse tones of Dylan Bendall (Lab°, Schoolbusdriver).
Live, Dead Hippies is unleashed through a quintet of guitars and it is that sonic abundance which fuels the intensity and exploits of Resister. The album opens with Drip Drip Drip, a track which admittedly took longer than the rest to get us hooked once exposed to all yet from its first melodic poking the song proved an itch which had to be scratched and often. Its rhythmic shuffle soon aligned to that initial electronic lure, vocals close behind again picking their shots before it all ignites in sonic dissonance as feral as it is caustic. Bendall switches between hip hop and noise punk dexterity within the repeating cycles of constantly fresh imagination, Fournier’s sounds equally esurient in their challenge and temptation as they evolve through a kaleidoscope of climates.
Get off the Boat follows, the track teasing ears with its opening electronic coaxing around a thick rhythmic pulsing. Melodic wires soon entangle those early seeds, Bendall’s tones moving from composed confrontation to a fiery insurgency as the surrounding enterprise follows suit. Like a mix of Girls In Synthesis and As A New Revolt, the track moves in a jarred shuffle throughout, its eruptions further manipulation of the senses and passions.
Featuring American rapper Mr J. Medeiros (The Procussions, Alltta, The Knives), the album’s title track is next up. It steps from an industrial lined electronic welcome into a prowling slice of Senser-esque rap rock where every second brings stringent observation amidst a consuming galvanic stride of sound. Though unleashed with a certain hand of control it is a ravenous encounter, electronic and punk ‘n’ roll dexterity amassing on a dance-floor bred rapacity.
That Senser like breath continues into the addictively rousing Feel so Freaky, a track which had the body feverishly bouncing like a puppeteer as its mania infested every note and syllable through to each magnetic twist and turn. Its dervish styled antics proved pure virulence from the first breath, a post punk hue only adding to its devilish magnificence before Laugh in Sadness flowered with crystalline elegance in ears. Guitars and keys blossom their intimation hand in hand, tears shared in its imposing shadows as the instrumental spreads and broadens its haunting tension and invasive drama. Compelling from first lure to last, the track eventually drifts back into the darkness for The Little Ones to unveil its corrosive radiance. A PiL tinted toning equips voice and sound as the song strides boldly and menacingly through ears, unrelenting rhythms on invasive manoeuvres as again Dead Hippies burrow deep into the psyche.
Across the swarthy climate of Anna Logue the Alien and the Morricone hued landscape of Tearing Us Apart with a Poisoned Dart addiction to Register only escalated. Once more ravenous electro-dubstep beats pummel as they incite across both tracks, the first of the two entangling that core bait with a web of guitar and electronic intimation as unscrupulous as it is dynamically persuasive, the vocals of Bendall equally as stirring. Its successor takes its time to build to that same rhythmic infestation, but once triggered brings a voracity of sonic turbulence and emotion before expanding both aspects in greater drama and tension.
The album finishes off with firstly the sonically rich ever evolving exploits of Flanger, a dance-floor bred instrumental at times as fearsome as it is incendiary to feet and body grooves and lastly the dystopian realm of Dramatic Control, a piece of music again which invades and provokes as potently as it draws the imagination into aligning its own darkest to that of the track.
Together they provide a compelling end to an album which simply consumed ears and attention not forgetting the passions from the first second and continues to do so which increasing success. There have been numerous striking releases across the year to date but Fournier with Register simply leaves so many of those in the shade.
Register is out now via Atypeek Music / Bruillance.
Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019
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