Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Hocico "Artificial Extinction" (2019)


Its more than fair to say the Mexican duo Hocico have a sound set in stone. Their Agrro-tech tone and temperament hasn't budged in a over decade. 2017's Spider Bites offered some b-sides and inconclusive experiments that made for an interesting listen as a fan. This new album however sticks rigidly to their hard hitting and darkly formula, churning out another eleven four to five minute tracks of thumping drums, aggressive synths and harsh screams. What's different this time around isn't much. A noticeable switch up to Drumstep style beats on a couple of tracks, however they are the most generic of samples, ones which I enjoy of course.

With the mildest of change ups, the record as a whole fails to produce much that sparkles. Its a very routine album where you can simply drop in if your in the Hocico mood. It delivers on that, another installment of driving dance floor kick drums, heavy hitting, the backbone of many songs, steadily thumping through just about every track. Around that drive, harsh and filling clicks, clacks and buzzes of percussion and Industrial noise create a thick barraging wall of unearthly sound. Layered looping arrangements of unnerving melodies dance of the variety of synth tones tuned for each track. The vocals are one dimensional, every word delivered through the same "whispering scream" that tends to blur into the music in a drone.

It occurs to me now that even its interlude tracks stick to the blueprint, being interchangeable with others from previous records. With each song deploying a repetitive arrangement pummeling dark EDM, it takes an emergent melody or break to elevate the mood and that seems to take place every other song or so. Only one song excelled, Damaged. Its shift in percussive style exciting and the stand out melody with its spacey bells is thrilling every listen. Otherwise its the same old thing from this duo. Next time I wont bother since they seem set in their ways, even if I like that sound.

Favorite Track: Damaged
Rating: 4/10

4 comments:

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