HADDOCK – rEVOLVED – EP Review
What an excellent transition on our playlist here this morning at sleepingbagstudios! Not only did we start our day based in electro through the smooth and subtle sounds of the latest album from Chanks but we’ve moved perfectly into a more innovative, energetic and involved sound here on the debut material from electro-percussionist and assembly-expert, HADDOCK. Unintended as it all might have been, it makes for an absolutely excellent switch in the energy as the day continues to brighten around me…and a logical one that my brain, ears and typing fingers were at the ready to accept. The resulting ride from these five songs was an electrifying rip through some brilliant combinations and blazing, exciting sounds that truly jump, shake, and bump right out of the speakers.
Opening the EP with “Kilgore” was a very smart decision. This gripping electro-assembly is wildly captivating and the rhythm is purely intoxicating. Excellent ideas put forth with astounding execution; “Kilgore” lays the foundation for the sound of HADDOCK and really showcases some of the incredible depth of skill put into the music and production. Featuring everything from dark melodic textures, to brightened-up old-school record-scratches…this first cut alone has enough innovation and invention to be spread out over an entire album. All of this is somehow combined by the expert studio-hand of HADDOCK in a tremendous effective way – it never finds itself overcrowded as each idea blends perfectly into the next; his use of spacing and timing is every bit as effective as the notes themselves.
Heading into the gloriously drum-filled “Break” – this track is a song for all you electro-percussionists out there that can’t get enough of the way that drums can become a lead instrument.
HEY! Stop that right now – I can hear some of you snickering…
REAL drums…at least in my opinion…whether electro or standard-kits can be the heart and soul of ANY band out there when allowed to actually write dynamic parts and not simply keep the beat. When this happens, something magical does too – songs come ALIVE. Bands, artists and especially drummers that understand this principle…they make it to their end-goals…I swear you could line them all up throughout the world and find this to be true. The writing becomes captivating, expansive, and versatile in ways that a guitar and bass simply cannot come up with on their own without that kind of exceptional innovation supporting them from the drums. Very much like the grooves you could find in the electro-infused world of Propellerheads back in the day, but much like their music what HADDOCK is putting together now is still a massively relevant sound out there in today’s modern world.
“Detroit Slim” sees HADDOCK bring in a bit of the ol’ funk! This shifty little number really moves with a vibrant pulse in its every step. Each beat and movement is precisely placed for maximum enjoyment with energy you can truly FEEL…its rhythm becomes intensely hypnotic but the added electro-elements into the mix really break this one up; each time the melody-line sends you drifting off to your own headspace, HADDOCK brings you back with a clever sound or seven. It’s a subtle departure from his overall sound encompassing the EP, but one that seems to again sprawl out logically to your brain…it’s a great track to have right smack in the middle where it is to send you guessing a little bit as to what might make up the sounds & style of the final two cuts to follow.
At its outset, “Cave Thing” starts out as potentially menacing as “Astro Creep 2000” by White Zombie once did. Thankfully, it’s much more akin to something you’d find in the music Apartment 26…you know, just the right amount of danger and darkness and without the pointless vocals that only took away from that incredible song…that kind of thing. I don’t know if the “Cave Thing” is a specific creature or not…but it certainly sounds like a formidable beast! Definitely a little more of what you might typically expect to find within traditional electro-music as opposed to some of the other material on the rEVOLVED EP, but still expertly assembled and still a viably great beat. In many ways, I can see this being one of the most latched-onto beats HADDOCK has created on the EP as this one will certainly appeal to a lot of the electro-fans out there no matter which sub-genre they claim to ONLY listen to.
Ending with “My Salvation,” I’ve got to say…it feels like we just GOT here! Admittedly, I’ve gotten to this EP later than I would have liked to…but this BLAZED by didn’t it? How did we get to the end already?
Smart choice in ending the EP with “My Salvation;” every bit as smart as the beginning to the EP itself with “KilGore” really – this final song becomes an ever-expanding sonic journey to bring rEVOLVED to its final notes and tones. Thirty seconds in you get an irresistible beat to accompany the synth-line melody as the track shortly bursts bright before breaking down to come back even brighter. Confident, cool and collected, this track manages to shift and pulse through several layers being added along the way seamlessly and captivatingly right through to the end.
An excellent debut from HADDOCK here…definitely songs that have real rhythm & groove and sound authentically made by someone with real love for the genre; you can hear the creativity and the innovation through the assembly and production. I’d say mission accomplished here on HADDOCK’s rEVOLVED EP – I’m definitely interested in hearing anything else that would come my way from this enthusiastic and energetic electro-wizard.
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