Review Summary: A hard origin may lead to an even harder future.
Hypernova probably know the meaning of “chaos”. Having originated in Iran, a country that prohibits listening to, much less the creation of, anything to do with rock music, the post-punk quartet have spent the majority of their time together playing it dangerous and sneaky with the practice of their music in a country that’s often amidst international tension with foreboding hostility from a number of sides. After the release of two EPs in their home country in 2006 and 2008 – which in effect, placed Hypernova as the leaders
of the rock scene in Iran at the time – the band have come overseas to The States to record and release their first full-length, the aptly titled Through The Chaos
Hypernova swagger like a 80s Joy Division on a date with modern-day The National and Interpol. Lead singer Raam - the band members wish to not have their last names revealed - sits at a comfy junction between lead singers Matt Berninger and Pauls Banks of the latter two bands, respectively, with his vocals delivering baritone, smart diction over the band’s blend of new wave and post-punk straightforward musical pronouncements – and straightforward it surely is: essentially, the band are very hook-friendly and make no efforts to hide it. “Universal” opens Through The Chaos
via a Killer’s “Somebody Told Me” shaking of drum symbols and waving guitar echo, while Raam follows and delivers a chorus universally ambiguous and catchy: ‘We are one, and we are three / The world’s in love, and so are we
’. Subtly is not Hypernova’s strongpoint, however, as the band hit high and strong initially on the album but fall a little on the mediocre and predictable side at the end of the day.
Much of Hypernova’s lyrics on Through The Chaos
are rooted in their struggles as an indie/post-punk band in Iran in the latter days of the last decade. “Viva La resistance” and “American Dream” might initially be viewed and heard as shots at America with lines like, ’I will now bow down to your God / This is not who I am
’ and ‘You’re all so dead inside
,’ respectively taken from each track; but a quick background check finds the source of their hurt and criticism stemming from their home country – and little wonder given the music and religion laws of that area. The band also focus on loneliness and individual failings via Foo Fighters’ “Everlong”-derivative “Empty Times” and cliché-filler, predictable “Monster In Me”. Just as the music really amounts to being no more than straightforward background guitar chords and simple-winding leads, the lyrical subjects also stay really close to home and generally play it a little too safe.
Hypernova’s Through The Chaos
is very solid, if not that interesting or attention grabbing. The band, unfortunately, have little in their arsenal of sounds to make them standout from any Joy Division-fan group, much less from those that they seem to derive their influences from - Depeche Mode, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Interpol - often having the effect of the band coming off as merely generic and watered-down variations of those groups. While pressure and threats of law breaking made their continuance as a band in Iran very difficult, just judging from what the band have presented here, however, Hypernova may find it just as hard to survive in the US music market as they did overseas.