Wednesday 18 December 2013

Review: 22Hertz – 'Detonate'


Canada seems to be having a bit of an industrial rock revival with the likes of Project F and now 22Hertz reviving the Nothing Records and Wax Trax gritty formulas of the 90s. 22Hertz's début album 'Detonate' is full of sleazy and scathing synths nailed to memorable riffs and sing-along choruses. Nine Inch Nails, White Zombie and Marilyn Manson's influences are easy to hear, but so are the likes of KMFDM, gODHEAD and Two.

But this isn't a nostalgic trip back to the era of dial-up internet and when MTV actually played music videos. 22Hertz have a well-rounded and developed sound all of their own that taps into what was a growing hole in the scene.

Tracks like 'Give Me A Sign', 'Into This', 'Getting Through', 'Everything' and 'Detonate' display a fine balance between hard guitar riffs, dissonant synths and frantic beats while maintaining a danceable tempo and unwavering bass groove. Overall formula of which is akin to a mixture of Nine Inch Nails' 'The Downward Spiral' and 'Fragile', with the more conventional structures of gODHEAD's '2000 Years Of Human Error', as well as nods to John 5's guitar work and some KMFDM style programming. The undoubted centrepiece of the album though is the NIN-esque instrumental 'The Signal In The Noise' with it's haunting drones and de-tuned piano bringing to mind the likes of 'A Warm Place' and the 'Still' mini-album.

Overall the production quality of the album is pretty good. It's clean and modern sounding and avoids the perils of distorted synths and guitars swamping each other. That being said, there are a few points where the vocals sound too low in the mix. And there is a sense that even though the album has ultimately received the necessary “spit and polish” prior to release, it could have done with a little more in the way of spit.

22Hertz ultimately though have a very solid and impressive début here. At nine tracks and 40 minutes in length, 'Detonate' doesn't wear out it's welcome, and leaves the listener wanting more. With the right backing there is no reason why 22Hertz couldn't make a serious name for themselves.

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