Tuesday 13 October 2015

Review: Hacking The Wave – 'The Dome'

'The Dome'

Another release from the depths of Victor Love's seemingly endless archive of sonic goodies comes Hacking The Wave, namely the début of this musical hack 'The Dome'. Differing significantly in terms for style from Dope Stars Inc. And Victor Love's new solo material, but still exploring the sprawl of cyberpunk as an umbrella genre, Hacking The Wave is glitch, chiptune, 8-bit, industrial and synth metal that results in some great crazy tunes that still make room for some of that anthemic rock that Love is known for with DSI.

The guitars are thin and grating, the rhythms simple and stripped down, and the synths sound somewhat low-fi. But put them together and it works very nicely especially when the clean vocals inject a nice melody over the more rock-orientated constructed songs. Perhaps the closest comparison would be Ultraviolence without the gabber elements. It's stripped-back, to the point and unashemedly catchy. Memorable tracks include 'Hacking The Wave', 'Illusions', 'The Dome', 'Mountains Of Sand', 'Faith', and 'Party like It's 2019', which veer from chiptune to synth metal and cyber-dance with ease.

The album adds a new twist to the styles we've come to expect from Victor Love, yet it feels familiar and continues to show off the depths of not only his songwriting ability but also his skills as a producer.

The production has a very nice punky edge which suits both the more electronic flavoured tracks as well as the more rock-orientated ones. It's strength is in its simplicity and straightforward construction that befits its cyberpunk tag quite nicely.

It may not be as strong in terms of rock credentials as Dope Stars Inc. Nor is it as electronically pleasing as Victor Love's solo material, but Hacking The Wave is a nice balance of the two that strips these elements down into a different, but nonetheless still pleasingly addictive play on the cyberpunk formula that Love continues to explore across his projects.  

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