Review Summary: "Prepare yourself for a joyride of flying razors and fluffy teddy bears that you won’t soon forget."
After listening, the general public decided that the album was simply too unique to fall under any specific genre. Correspondingly, they dubbed it the most idiotic genre title ever, one that sounded absolutely awful no matter how many ways you slice it – the new emerging genre was called ‘Happy Hardcore’. Basically, it was Ultraviolence’s usual combination of hardcore trance, metal, industrial, breakbeat, and other such genres. However, this album was supposedly more cheerful and listenable; hence it was described as happy. They claimed that Ultraviolence had gone in a completely different direction, that he had reinvented himself, that he gone mainstream in the best possible way. He indeed did, and aside from the sketchy and misleading album title, he unintentionally created a genre, and it so happens that it was wondrous.
The first shocking realization is that the music isn’t actually cheerful at all. I suppose one could claim that the fast-paced beeps and breedles of trance music provide a merry ride, but Ultraviolence contradictorily employs electronic sounds in a disturbing manner. Mostly due in part to excessive vocal samples, Ultraviolence tricks by taking perfectly alright samples and pairing them with disturbing ones directly after. For instance, in ‘Bombs in My Head’, you will hear a man shouting soulfully, “How do you feel”- the response is a high-pitched, freakish screech from an innocent girl. Then there’s ‘Masochist’ which has the voice of an icy woman asking rhetorically, “Why are you alone… masochist?” - the answer is a demented (exaggeration intended), “I LOVE YOU!!! I’M CUMMING!!! As apparent, the happiness in the album is more in the lines of the kind that a serial killer has after he murders his victims. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart, but what more did you expect, something that wasn’t ultra-violent?
Similar to the psychopathic feel of the music, the electronics are equally maniacal. Swiftly interchanging between cutesy fun and paralyzing horrors, there is no end to the unnerving confusion that awaits. Speed is a key factor as the bumpy beats smash skulls with blistering briskness alongside disorienting synthesizers. The album is foremost a lesson in variation, in fact, the entire discography of Ultraviolence can attest to that. The album is more of the same genre mashing as always, and unlike so many other groups, Ultraviolence actually does it with supreme knowhow. Sure it’s a smidgen more mainstream, and sure it’s a bit less mournful than usual (if you can believe it), but these changes are a welcome addition to Ultraviolence’s commonly harrowing style. Prepare yourself for a joyride of flying razors and fluffy teddy bears that you won’t soon forget.