Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hateful Abandon - "Move" (2011) [Todestrieb Records]

You know, outside of maybe Puerto Rico Flowers, I can't really say I've been that excited about this decade's post-punk craze. You say Interpol and Les Savy Fav, whereas I lean more towards Lowlife and Public Image, Ltd. There's something about more recent post-punk that lacks the sort of genuine emotion that made those first bands hold onto that "punk" tag. Hell, now that Neige from Alcest is going around talking about post-punk, we see more and more black metal bands hopping on the bandwagon and adding "post-punk" (read: not really) influence. Also, I'm not going to lie, I do miss the sincerity of the British accent and enunciation with post-punk lyrics; there's just something about it that adds to the atmosphere (as strange as that sounds). So, when I first heard Hateful Abandon's long-awaited new album Move, which was recently released on Todestrieb Records, I was more than happy to see the "island across the Pond" taking back what was originally theirs.

To be honest, I wasn't super impressed with their first album, Famine, which felt like it was teetering on the brink of either being a post-punk band or a black metal band. This indecisiveness in sound did make me wonder if they would go into a more concentrated direction in their next album, and, to my delight, they definitely did. And I have to hand it to them; Move is one of the most impressive post-punk, or even rock albums I've heard in a long time. I don't even know where to begin with this album; it's absolutely fantastic. Hateful Abandon has been able to tone down their influences outside of post-punk to a degree where they've lost that "wobbling" effect of Famine to create something much more concrete and stable, but with enough zest from, say, black metal or older industrial music, to really make it special.

First and foremost, I have to address frontman V/M's extraordinarily versatile voice. At first I'm presented with this angry, baritone, John Lydon-like rasp on "The Way It Ends," and yet V/M is able to elegantly move to a tragic bass or a seething, sharp, angry, even lower, disgusting basso profundo. M's voice takes the lead for the entire album and sets the stage for each highly varied tune.

When you boil it down, this album is pretty damn angry, but with good reason. Every bass line, every drum hit, every syllable, no matter how stern or solemn, is a stab at the negative doings of capitalist society. Each song is a poignant stance against being controlled or destroying the world. A solid, resolute tribute to post-punks beginnings in punk. Punk's not about being miserable and lonely, anyway.

Strong, concentrated, adamant, and powerful are all adjectives that come to mind upon listening to this courageous venture as a post-punk band in a black metal world. Chock full of nods to the greats, from Cabaret Voltaire ("Spies on a Wire" is a cover of their song of the same name) to Burzum, though the latter is more slight and textural. An exercise in the complexities of a single emotion, being anger, of course, Move has proven itself to be one of the much stronger releases so far this year. Hats off to you, Hateful Abandon. Be sure to pick up Move, as well as other quality releases, from Todestrieb Records


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