ALBUM: Worship Your Diseases
LABEL: Kairotic Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
In the fine tradition of Test Dept., Hydra is a new British industrial act combining thoughtful, politically-oriented punk attitude with scrap metal industrial percussion. Featuring Raye and Rog, two former members of industrial noise act Leech Woman, Hydra's debut album is full of solid industrial rhythms, with marching drum machine sequences augmented by the clatter of metal on metal, but more intriguing is that despite the aggression and noise, there are plenty of real songs here. It's anything but cacophony for its own sake; "Wormwood" features some of the album's most striking percussion, but the big moody guitar chords and vocalist Nick's apocalyptic snarl give the song a vibe comparable to Public Image Ltd.'s more avant-garde material. Meanwhile, "Race Apart" is slow and brooding enough to recall not only early industrial, but also the noisier side of early gothic acts like Christian Death and Virgin Prunes, thanks to its muffled moaning vocals and bleak keyboard line. That isn't to say that Hydra are all about moping, of course, and the album's most memorable track, "Prey," is all about the aggression, with a sampled preacher, a jackhammer beat, and brutal punk shouts all vying for attention. Still, given the often abrasive nature of both anarchist punk and old school industrial, Hydra's ability to meld their influences, both sonic and political, with accessible melodies is impressive, and this debut is one of those rare albums that's heavy enough for hardcore fans without requiring a sense of musical masochism to enjoy.
Visit Hydra's Internet lair at www.slainofthehydra.com .
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