Dot Hacker
Inhibition


4.5
superb

Review

by tom USER (12 Reviews)
November 2nd, 2012 | 629 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: do you want disorder? i don't believe you

The feeling of connection to music is an elusive thing. What makes it so that the same piece of music can have a completely opposite effect on two different people? Why is it that some listeners need only a catchy hook or a beautiful voice to satisfy them while others will gravitate towards abrasive noise and heaviness? That an almost universally revered ‘classic’ record can leave a listener feeling nothing and vice versa? The effect of music on the human spirit is truly an ineffable phenomenon. Dot Hacker’s debut album Inhibition has had a profound impact on me that I can’t really hope to do justice with my words. It can’t be explained. It’s all about connection on a subconscious level. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to put something into writing.

Formed in California in 2008, Dot Hacker is a band of seasoned session musicians who teamed up to write their own material after playing together for various big name artists. The duo of Josh Klinghoffer and Clint Walsh handle all manner of guitars, keys and synthesisers, backed by the rock solid rhythm section Jonathan Hischke (bass) and Eric Gardner (drums/percussion). Their musical compositions follow no set pattern or formula. They can be intense, dreamy, vicious, danceable, soothing or beautiful, and sometimes all of these things at once.

Those who heard Dot Hacker’s self-titled EP earlier this year will feel right at home as the familiar crunchy riff of ‘Order/Disorder’ roars out of the speakers and Klinghoffer’s angelic voice draws the listener into the wondrous world of Inhibition. The front half of the record is predominantly guitar-focused, though not in the traditional sense. Klinghoffer’s playing is quite different from the funk/pop/rock style of his day job in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Here he presents something more unorthodox, formed around interlocking textures with Walsh through the use of various effects pedals. This isn’t quite the standard guitar/bass/drums setup either: there is a near omnipresent electronic pulse coursing through the atmosphere, only occasionally coming to the foreground, but always adding another dimension to the aural experience. Every band member is extremely proficient at his chosen instrument(s) and they lock in tightly, playing like a singular living organism led by Klinghoffer’s otherworldly androgynous vocals. There’s an admirable versatility in songwriting here as the band jumps seamlessly from the dreamlike ‘Eye Opener’ into the very danceable duo ‘Discotheque’ and ‘Be Leaving’, in which the booming bass dominates everything else. Hischke is an utterly vital component of Inhibition, contributing a wall-shaking bassline on almost every track. He has a beautifully fat tone, round yet defined, and an unteachable feel for the groove matched perfectly with Gardner’s powerful drumming.

The near flawless second half of the record sees the band stretching their legs, pushing themselves to further explore the depths of their sound. Dramatic piano playing drives ‘The Earth Beneath’ and ‘The Wit of the Staircase’ into new territory and reaps handsome rewards. Elsewhere, it’s Klinghoffer’s glorious wall of guitars and vocals that take the magnificent title track to another dimension. The best, however, is saved almost for last. The slow opening guitar of the stunning ‘Quotes’ gradually builds to a thunderous climax and a transcendent moment in which the instruments fall away, exposing the raw emotion in Josh’s voice, before kicking back in with unprecedented ferocity. After such a soaring high the chilled out epic ‘Puncture’ is the perfect comedown, showing the band’s restrained side while exuding an air of palpable optimism. Happy to go at its own sedate pace, it pushes the seven minute mark without ever dragging, the feeling of triumph swelling and growing like a wave that never quite breaks. Eventually though, the final notes of ‘Puncture’ fade away, leaving a most peaceful feeling in their wake: truly the ideal way to close an album of such ups and downs.

Inhibition is a remarkably consistent record devoid of any filler whatsoever. Every single song here has its own identity and something unique to offer while simultaneously building an overarching feeling of flow and cohesion. This makes for an incredibly rewarding listening experience straight from the brains and hearts of four supremely talented musicians who know exactly what they want and exactly how to create it. In the opening verse of ‘Discotheque’, Josh sings ‘that look in your apocalyptic eye… so beautiful, vague and sublime’, inadvertently summarising the very essence of Inhibition itself. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes this album resonate so deeply within me. It isn’t the lyrics; half the time it is impossible to decipher what the hell is being sung. It isn’t the riffs or the bass or the beats or any other quantifiable thing. It's the rare sense of wonder and magic this music gives me that is impossible to describe with words but is felt by all of us when we hear our favourite records. I implore anybody who seeks this feeling to give Inhibition a try. You may not like it, and that’s okay. But, if you open yourself to it, there’s a good chance you will experience the exhilarating feeling of this music flooding your senses and connecting with you in the deepest way possible, and that is something we all deserve. Don’t judge. Don’t analyse. Don’t think. Just feel.



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user ratings (91)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Jimmyfree450 (4.5)
A great album that deserves more attention from more people...


Comments:Add a Comment 
tommygun
November 2nd 2012


25425 Comments


This is my AOTY right here. I had mad writer's block today so no idea how this turned out but y'all
should definitely check this record.

'Inhibition': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh8SgDgCSFk
'Quotes': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaTnn2TynqM

MeatSalad
November 2nd 2012


15089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very interested

Digging: Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs (And Around in Your Heart and on

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2012


4458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really great review, Tommy. Album rules, POS'd.

tommygun
November 2nd 2012


25425 Comments


@Paperback - Thanks mate, much appreciated. I was wondering to myself as I wrote this whether you had heard this or not, as I always value your opinion. I kind of neglected this when it first came out but I've racked up an obscene amount of plays over the past few weeks. It has really clicked with me big time.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2012


4458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same here. I got it at around the time of its release, though I kind of put it aside and concentrated on other stuff. But when I sat down and gave it my full attention I fell in love with it.

tommygun
November 2nd 2012


25425 Comments


Yeah there is a lot of great stuff going on that only revealed itself to me after several listens, once I had got my head around the whole thing. The bass on this is really something.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2012


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review man. I wanted one of these days to write one for the album because no one did, but you've done a great job. The album is really cool.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Motorpnakotic Fragments

tommygun
November 2nd 2012


25425 Comments


Thanks man. Yeah I was secretly hoping somebody else would review this because as much as I love the album, I have a tough time explaining why... I just do! But yeah it's been out for six months so I sat down and forced myself to write this because it's a great album and really deserves a review and more exposure. I can only hope that I managed to do it some sort of justice.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2012


3545 Comments


This looks really interesting, I'll check it out. Have a pos until then.

Digging: Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint

tommygun
November 2nd 2012


25425 Comments


Thanks buddy.

Man I can't get enough of Josh's vox. I'm trying to track down as much stuff he's sung on as I possibly can.

MaskAtTheMasquerade
November 2nd 2012


2888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good stuff tommy, have a pos from juh boy mask

MaskAtTheMasquerade
November 2nd 2012


2888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

josh is totally on that pro status

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 2nd 2012


16160 Comments


really nice review mate, enjoyed read

Digging: Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2012


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Beside Dot Hacker, I just love the work Josh did with Bob Forrest on Bicycle Thief's album. I've been trying to track the album to buy it, but I can't find it anywhere around here. I'll have to buy it off the internet I guess.

Eclecticist
November 2nd 2012


3863 Comments


The full album is actually on youtube in one 51min video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwX11kEj92A

larrytheslug
November 2nd 2012


1315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dot hacker's fb page just acknowledged this review. congratulations ! :D

tommygun
November 2nd 2012


25425 Comments


Thanks for the feedback guys. I really appreciate it.

@insomniac - you're right about that Bicycle Thief record, it's really really great. I couldn't find a hard copy myself, especially in Australia, so I ended up just buying it from iTunes.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2012


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My chances here in Romania are even smaller then, but there are some online record stores that can bring just about any records if you ask. I just hope it won't be so expensive.

tommygun
November 2nd 2012


25425 Comments


Yeah man the shipping charges can be a killer. I hope you can find one for a reasonable price, good luck!

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
November 3rd 2012


1053 Comments


Really good again mate have a pos from me. Love Klinghoffer's voice so definitely will give this a go.

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There



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