Review Summary: An admirably ambitious album that ultimately falls short of its goal.
There is a fine line between being creative and taking things a little too far. Some bands, such as Kayo Dot
, have made long careers out of brilliant deviations from the norm. The difference between successful avant-garde bands and failed creations is the ability to stay within the boundaries of coherence. Being unique is a very good thing, especially in a modern-day society that is full of copycats and similar sounds. Newcomers, however, tend to try to be too
unique in order to stand out in a crowd of other hopeful bands. Still, there are some up-and-coming groups that are starting to find their own creative niches. The four-piece French group Hypno5e
are among the most promising, with their debut album Des Deux l’une Est l’autre
garnering a respectable amount of praise from the underground music community. Though their anticipated follow-up Acid Mist Tomorrow
doesn’t live up to the hype created by its predecessor, it’s still a solid album that shows a considerable amount of potential for the band going forward.
I liken the music to being a combination of Kayo Dot and Gojira. Though the idea of combining those two styles may sound completely unfocused, Hypno5e do an impressive job of avoiding ridiculously chaotic song structures. The musicianship is excellent and there are moments of sheer brilliance in the nine tracks, such as the ear-splitting introduction to “Story Of The Eye” and the middle section of the title track. Some of the more experimental sections can be slightly off-putting, especially the all-French monologues that are impossible to understand unless the listener is fluent in the language. Thankfully, these do not take away from the rest of the album and only appear in short interludes. The harsh vocals are wonderfully utilized, appearing in the background of the mix so as not to dominate the rest of the music. Unfortunately, the clean vocals are slightly overdone and don’t measure up to the harsh vocals at all. While the production is relatively clear, the bass is almost non-existent and that sometimes makes it a chore to keep up with the transitions.
Some of the moments with the most potential are weakened because of the band’s tendency to drag out certain lesser parts longer than necessary. This issue will likely sort itself out as the members mature and continue to experiment with different ideas. I appreciate the ambitiousness of albums like Acid Mist Tomorrow
, as they display a level of creativity that many bands just don’t have. There are just too many sections that don’t end up going anywhere, leaving a lot to be desired at the record’s conclusion. The reason that bands like Kayo Dot are so successful is that the amount of filler is far outweighed by the phenomenal pieces. Hypno5e will hopefully continue to grow and focus on condensing their future material, because they’ve got a lot of promise. It’s just a matter of delivering what they’re capable of producing.