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Hiretsukan - Invasive/exotic

  by Adam Day

published: 23 / 7 / 2002

Hiretsukan - Invasive/exotic
Label: G7
Format: CD


Highly impressive politically charged punk from new hardcore group from Brooklyn, New York

After a summer of listening to new releases from Wilco, The Promise Ring, Sonic Youth, etc., I was becoming desperately hungry for some ugly music to balance out the lovely. I looked for this dose of hardcore/punk in music past: Anal Cunt, the Misfits, Ignition, M.D.C., Minor Threat. But then to my amazement Hiretsukan (based in Brooklyn, NY) appears with this amazing and important release, 'Invasive // Exotic'. I couldn’t be more thankful for these six songs, so accessible you can transition from Belle and Sebastian to 'Invasive // Exotic' without skipping a beat. This is—in emotion, message, and music—a beautiful hardcore album. I haven’t heard one this good in years. 'Invasive // Exotic' has the urgency and energy of a thousand air-raid sirens sounding simultaneously. That is to say it does what so few albums of any genre do: it energizes. Here the medium is the message: hardcore is in-and-of-itself revolutionary in that it is extremely ugly; otherwise, it challenges preconceived notions of what is beautiful and acceptable. With emotionally and mentally engaging screamed lyrics and music that is simultaneously melodious and chaotic Hiretsukan takes this concept of hardcore to its logical conclusion where the personal truly is the political. Yet 'Invasive // Exotic' lacks the distance found in many contemporary politically-minded bands, like Boy Sets Fire, for example, so you don’t feel like you’re being preached to, but rather that you’re screaming right along with lead singer, Michele. This down and dirty approach to the personal-political, ala Born Against, is especially prescient with the U.S. seemingly on the brink of a second senseless war in the Persian Gulf, and in the midst of corporate debacles, recession, ongoing social ills, and global environmental crisis. Want some comparisons? New school: an amazing, if little-known, Florida band called, Jiyuna http://www.geocities.com/rap_factory/, the Locust, Frodus, early Cave In. Old school: Econochrist, Rorschach, Born Against. But these are only signposts. Hiretsukan really have achieved their own distinct sound. With 'Invasive // Exotic' they churn out a near perfect balance of old school low-fi, airiness and slow deliberateness, and new school hi-fi, wall thick, speedy deliberateness. One of the best things about 'Invasive// Exotic' is the bombastic screaming voice of lead singer Michele, which is it's own instrument. It’s like a sheer cliff you look up to from the ocean below, edgy and raw, yet symphonic, exploding and swarming around you. There is anger and frustration in that voice; you’ll here no lilting schoolgirl melodies here, but neither will you hear sludge or whining. So far from “pretty” are her vocals that more than one reviewer has mistaken her voice for that of a male – she kicks that much ass. And Hiretsukan does great things with dual vocal overlays. The guitars and bass, respectively, are one continuous wall of sound, rising and crashing like wave-breaks, while the drums bring chaos to the fore, all coming together subtly into a discord that is infectious. I would like to have heard the bass more distinctly and louder drums to match the guitars and the accent on vocals, but that is a minor complaint. Perhaps the best example of 'Invasive // Exotic' at its’ best is the breakdown in 'New Camp Standard' where the guitar fades into repetition while the drums keep you on edge waiting for the explosion you know will come . . . And it does, with a visceral power that is literally spine-tingling, sending you shouting along with Hiretsukan’s compelling overlapping dual vocals: “I won’t be / your next / second.” Everything about this album is tight, yet it conveys the spontaneity of a live show. Hiretsukan’s 'Invasive // Exotic' is fantastic, fantastic stuff, sure to be one of the best hardcore albums of the year.

Track Listing:-
1 Leader of the Last
2 Michael Cosgrove
3 Barrel Roll
4 Driver
5 Sloesputter
6 New Lamp Standard
7 Creeping Death

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