The Hickey Underworld
The Hickey Underworld


3.5
great

Review

by Olivier De Clercq CONTRIBUTOR (38 Reviews)
July 14th, 2011 | 7 replies | 4,147 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A guaranteed 'Turn off that damn ruckus!' from your parents, 10 seconds in.

The debut album of the Hickey Underworld is a real car record. Make that a real rally record. This isn't about cruising the highways, but instead it's superbly suited to destroy the speed limits, to drift through tight corners, to grind through the gravel and to wade through mud pools. Ideally, there's a huge storm raging outside and the rain is pouring down from the skies. Battling against the forces of nature, that's the sound of The Hickey Underworld.

Presented here are ten violent uppercuts disguised as songs. And aside from Of Asteroids and Men... Plus Added Wizardy (there has to be a track that everyone skips on every record, Michael Bradley of The Undertones said once) they hurt where it counts. Zero Hour opens the record on the most explosive manner possible. The guitar noise and the wailing voice of singer Younes Faltakh make it understandable why these guys are considered a post hardcore band. The nitro boost is activated with Sick of Boys and Blonde Fire makes it sound like the band is crashing into a massive brick wall. If you are like me and don't normally listen to 'harder genres' (metal, hardcore, stuff like that), the album is a tough listen at first. After a couple of spins though, song structures and melodies reveal themselves hidden beneath the violence, most notably on the single Future Words.

With all these positive words so far, why then the somewhat lower 3,5 rating? Well, for starters we have the aforementioned skippable track, Asteroids... It's just too long. After an interesting and promising start of hard riffs, The Hickeys start a jam fest that keeps on going (or so it seems) and interest is lost. One bad song isn't a complete disaster on itself, but the songs that follow don't pack quite the punch as the ones on the first half of the record. They're still uppercuts, but the boxers who provide them sound kind of fatigued here.

Let's just blame it on the manic enthusiasm of the guys at the start. As stated, the first 6 tracks are uniformly excellent and they have plenty of potential for the future. The album is a case of harder, faster, louder, but with Future Words The Hickey Underworld prove they can write a layered and atmospheric pop song as well. Another reviewer has put it this way: "The debut of The Hickey Underworld is the perfect musical companion for when you want to play Guantanamo Bay at your home." And that really says it all.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2011



30863 Comments


Honestly it looks better if you just chuck song titles under 'quotes'

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2011



6319 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Now where's there a window I can smash?
- Future Words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPiehSqBA-0
- Blonde Fire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkB56z_8nck

Digging: Sully - Blue

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2011



6319 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Honestly it looks better if you just chuck song titles under 'quotes'

I had this discussion already on some of my other reviews... So it seems no one on Sputnik likes song titles in bold? I still think it's more clear this way.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2011



30863 Comments


It's all personal preference but it just kinda sticks out like a sore thumb and not really in a good way

Holy fuck, did you find a big enough album pic?



Athom
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2011



17195 Comments


lol there was a punk house in Long Beach called the Hickey Underworld. good memories.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2011



6319 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's just what I'm used to, as my weekly music magazine has always used this style. And it's very handy to look a song up, as you know directly which ones are discussed and rated positively.

Practically no one reads my reviews anyways, so I don't think it's a big deal ; )

And I didn't put this in the database, so I don't know anything about that album pic...

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
January 13th 2012



6319 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ugh, this review...

Anyways: new album underway! Below is a sample track:
http://soundcloud.com/piasbelgium/the-hickey-underworld



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