HIDE: Flesh For the Living 12″ (Midwich Productions, 2016)

April 8, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

HIDE: Flesh For the Living 12"

HIDE: Flesh For the Living 12″

HIDE are a Chicago-based duo doing dark industrial synth-pop, but that description could mean anything, and this group covers quite a lot of ground just on this 12″. The title cut is a sizzling, thumping EBM track which sounds like one of Underworld’s more aggressive moments, but with a take-no-bullshit goth-punk diva staring you down. It’s minimal in construction, yet it sounds big and brooding. The remix by WATTS slows the tempo down to a sparse dubstep crawl, but it fills the space with detailed drum fills which sometimes approximate the rattling hi-hats of Southern rap, other times imitating marching band drum cadences. There’s also vocal glitches and crazy synth squirms, with an ominous sci-fi melody tucked into the center of the song. The 11-minute “Limb From Limb” takes up the record’s B-side, and it’s halfway between minimal techno and horror-disco, with an insistent throb covered in washes of echo. Heather Gabel scowls “turn the other cheek, don’t speak” as the track gets more tense. It keeps building up and adding more explosive, disturbing sounds, and then it strips down only to get more scary. A phoned-in paranoid voice talks breathlessly about a murder he had to commit (or at least attempt). After a pregnant pause, the track explodes back into action, and remains aggressive and dread-filled for most of its remainder.

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