Review Summary: How much talent does it take to make drunk people dance? Find out below....Previously on Hadouken!....
A few years back certain publications were proclaiming that rising up and comers Hadouken! were a “band to watch”, “flag bearers of the nu rave scene”, and a “force to be reckoned with”. Fast forward to the present day and these same publications are now telling us that the same band just isn’t worth bothering with. Now I know hindsight is 20/20, but that’s quite a huge about face to be making; could it possibly be that everyone woke up and realized that Nu Rave just wasn’t a genre worthy of anything more than a couple of jokes and a few disgruntled remarks? Or did everyone just hear Hadouken’s debut and realize that they were, in fact, wrong? And I’m not talking about just making a slight misinformed critique here, this was on a much bigger scale than these magazines would like you to think about. Music For An Accelerated Culture
seemed to be accepted with a kind of reluctant acceptance simply because, it seemed, that it was all just a bit tongue in cheek. Which is fine, you can have a sense of humor/fun in your music and still be a good band, there’s nothing wrong with that. But there comes a time in every band’s career when a little maturity is in order; I just wished Hadouken! had found some before writing this album.
Now what do you do to raise a little hype when no one really seems interested in hearing what you’re going to do next? Well you call in current d’n’b heroes Noisia to produce your next L.P. of course, and cross your fingers that they’ll say yes; and strangely, they did. As a result, For The Masses
comes across as a lot more dance oriented than last round, in fact the focus on live instrumentation is, for the most part, discarded entirely. What we end up with is a product more violent and rough around the edges than anything our colorful little heroes have done before. It’s almost Prodigy like, with its punk rock swagger and shouted quasi anthems custom made for the aggressive and repressed rave kid in all of us, because you know they exist, right? Case in point being this lovely little speech repeated ad infinitum on ‘Ugly’: “You take it on the chin, I’m gonna *** your face up
” and “Its ugly like your sister
”. It’s like bro core for the dance sect, something you know we’ve all been waiting patiently for….
The aggressive tone is a constant, and it pretty much only excels in showing you just how utterly ridiculous one man can be, and I don’t mean the good kind of ridiculous. And that’s probably the biggest problem with this band, frontman James Smith and his love affair with a microphone. Displaying all the stage presence of a puppet minus the required inserted hand, and the restraint of a drug induced cocker spaniel James occupies the majority of the album spouting out off the cuff and, obviously on the fly, remarks and semi passable lyrics. It’s his god awful squalls that all too often detract from the obvious talents of the producers on hand, and even the other band members at times. That’s right folks, this actually is a whole band here!!
Now, there are times when this little formula of rave/sickly beats and aggressive lyrics actually works; both ‘Turn The Lights Out’ and ‘Bombshock’ contain something resembling a replay value, with the later containing a vibrating and electrifying presence that will be hard to ignore. But it’s all just a bit simple, and it contains just about as much subtlety as a sledgehammer to the head. Huge bass coupled with chugging guitars, and then an ever grating emergence of tacky synths, there’s just no real emotion on offer. Unless you’re looking for the musical equivalent of a one night stand that just happens to pass out mid-coitus, well then I guess you’re in luck.
What Hadouken! do succeed in accomplishing here is providing more music to entertain the young masses who spend their Saturday nights driving endlessly in circles in their modified cars. You know the ones who think it’s cool to wear sunglasses at night, those cats. In fact they’ll probably stand as some kind of shining light of hope for all those ‘kids’; sadly the rest of us know better, for us Hadouken! will never be as good as their beloved influences.
Oh, and there’s autotune…….
We now to return to your regular broadcast