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Hijos de Mayo : In Sound Underground

Do you like post/noise/punk/wtf with a decent dose of heavy? Then by all means, check Hijos de Mayo out!

You like quirky Doom, they said. You should review this, they said. Well... uh... what?

Perhaps it's the last track, 'Working Class Hero', still resonating in my head, or maybe I'm just trying to wrap my brain around the entirety of Hijos de Mayo's "In Sound Underground", but I just can't quite decide if I like it, or I don't. Quirky. Yeah, quirky is the only description that really fits here.

It starts off innocently enough. Opener 'Silence Unsaid' could even be, eer, said, to have a slight world music sound to it. My initial feeling is to compare it to mid-period, mellow Katatonia until the vocals kick in. Boukje has an interesting approach, to say the least (the shrill vibrato takes some getting used to, but most of the rest is solid). Again, quirky.

Four songs later, and I'm thinking of comparing this to early The Gathering with hints of Lacuna Coil. Of course, I'm also making connections to Garbage (but less pop, and more gloom), Kurt Cobain-era Hole (you know he wrote most of "Live Through This"), Nina Hagen, and even PJ Harvey. Is there such a thing as post-wave noise/punk/doom? ...'cause this album is what I'd imagine such a genre to sound like. Yeah, quirky.

Speaking of Doom, there isn't a whole lot of it here. I didn't really feel it until the fifth track, 'Faced Down'. Shades of Black Sabbath on the intro, and really, through most of the song. Mind you, the vocals kill it near the end. Protip: If you don't sound like Bethlehem, you probably shouldn't sing like that. It doesn't work, even if it's quirky.

Going through the next three songs, we have metalcore with hints of Iron Maiden (no, it's not good), solid bass riffing with way too much fancy mixing and effects. More chipmunk vibrato on the vocals, as I've now taken to calling it, and a decent, Katatonia-like downer, which seems to be strategically placed at the right point in the album. Oh, and then the previously mentioned 'Working Class Hero'. Have you ever got really drunk? Like, holding-on-the-floor so the room stops spinning drunk? ...and decided to record something, listened to it the day after, then said "Screw it. Let's put it on the album"? ...yeah, that explains this song. Post rock, hipster noise. And I mean that as a compliment. I think. A quirky compliment.

So you're a fan of Doom metal? You should probably give Hijos de Mayo a pass. Do you like post/noise/punk/wtf with a decent dose of heavy? Then by all means, check this band out. You can download "In Sound Underground" for free on their Bandcamp page. Once again, quirky. That's probably all I needed to say. Quirky.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Silence Unsaid
2. Ambition Time
3. Dull as Ditchwater
4. Smashing Beauty
5. Faced Down
6. Give Me Cliches
7. In Sound Under Ground
8. Ode to a Dress
9. Working Class Hero

Duration : Approx. 52 minutes

Visit the Hijos de Mayo bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-04-21 by Matt Zuchowski
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