Thursday, 9 February 2012

REVIEW: The Hysterical Injury - Dead Wolf Situation - LISTEN

A brother sister duo consisting of drummer Tom Gardiner and bassist-vocalist Annie Gardiner, The Hysterical Injury sure know how to whip up a raw psychotic racket as well as being able to deliver ear-caressing melodies and immediate hooks. Their debut 'Dead Wolf Situation' begins with a steady beat, a fat riff and angelic little girl vocals  which give way to the thunderous menace of its chorus. This is 'Halo Alkanes' and during its course the song throws up at least three chunky memorable bass hooks. To think this band doesn't have a guitarist makes the sound they achieve all the more impressive. 

On 'Icebreak' a choppy bassline blends with some richly melodic vocals and with another deeply infectious riff, 'Cycle One' is like some sort of unstoppable object gaining more and more traction as the track progresses with a fantastic chorus and vocals oozing with seductive mystery and stinging attitude. 'Vex' is a thrillingly tight icy cool stomp while 'Rosetta's Waves' has many twists and turns, finding it impossible to settle down. On 'The Works' the smart well spoken harmony of the verse is ever so rudely interrupted by the fuzz of its hyperactive bass hook, sounding as dirty as it does addictive. Top marks go to Tom for the drumming too. Beginning with a stark acapella 'Visions of Trees' soon becomes proof that just two people can create something great using just two instruments and in this case just two chords, while 'Into the Cabin' ends with a full on assault brimming with decayed aggression. On 'Skyline Interface' a soaring melody explodes into a riot thanks to another chugging and highly excited riff. 

They keep things refreshingly brief on album highlight 'Maths' with its simple yet dangerously bassline and threatening injections of rumbling suspense that load into the wild fury of the chorus. The two piece line up and the absence of multiple overdubs allow the sound to breathe during the moments when the storm brews, like on the brilliantly minimal verses of 'Bitch's Balls' where a disco beat is paired with one of the record's most infectious melodies and a moaning bass, gradually building into a threatening progressive climax. 

The closing 'Rainbow Thunderclap' brings sunny harmonies, a simple effective hook and a lively rhythm before two minutes in it begins to tick like a bomb before eventually exploding into a muddy final blow. Their gift for building up the suspense is demonstrated all over this album as is their fondness for riotous bursts of raw noise, and 'Dead Wolf Situation' is a damn good record. 8

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