WildsMusic • Vinyl
Dark Electro • Dark Wave • Industrial • Post Punk
14/11/2014, Pascal VERLOOVE
Whether you’re an actor, a singer or a band, at some point in time when you are becoming famous, people will inevitably start Googling your name to know more about you, or to find out what you look like. But it’s not sure that, back in 2007, when Wes Russell and Greg Frantz created Hot Guts in Philadelphia, they were thinking of what a Google Images result page would show to people Googling their band name in 2014. Try it if you’re not afraid of feeling queasy, because you get a strange mix of rock and roll and let us say kind of … sausages! Nothing is wrong with Google, results on Bing are even weirder… Still hungry?
But you are not reading a cooking magazine, are you? So let’s focus on the recipe to make a first-class wild and dark album, oscillating between electro industrial and post-punk instead.
Actually, the band line-up has since then changed, and Hot Guts is now a mixed duo and couple because Wes, the frontman, has teamed up with his partner Shari Wallin. Shari (aka Shari Vari – this name may ring a bell to you), is also the lady behind Void Vision, who is just releasing a fabulous debut album at the same time. So, this duo/couple combination seems to be a winning one, as we have seen some other electronic bands functioning in the same way (ADULT., Soft Metals,…).
Wilds is Hot Guts’ second album, which comes up two years after their debut album Edges,released on Blind Prophet Records. It features eight intriguing tracks, fusions of electronic waves and post-punk atmospheres, with a good pinch of industrial sounds.
Wilds debuts with All Suns, a long, cold, quiet synth intro, until a drum machine starts pulsing a beat and then, shortly after, Wes starts singing, or rather declaiming a tenebrous and scary incantation to the sun. You could easily picture him in an abandoned factory building, or in a deserted cathedral, looking at a dark cloudy sky though the crumbling roof. And, as the track evolves, more sounds, mostly industrial, are added to the recipe and Wes' singing turns from darkness to anger, and while he is repeating “All suns set” over and over again, you are left wondering if ours will ever rise again!
Even though none of the eight tracks on Wilds sounds the same, all the key elements of Hot Guts’ unique style are present on this first song: repetitive drum patterns, cold synths lines, distorted guitars and industrial sounds. But the most important element of all that is Wes’ chant, dark, chilling, sometimes gothic and frequently repeating the same key words over again, which is adding to the dread.
Several songs (such as the excellent Kite and Shadows – one of the highlights of the album) are constructed by adding different layers of sounds, in a crescendo, until a climax is reached and then quickly dropping one layer after the other creating a silence that is oppressing.
Wes does not share the mike with Shari much, except on A Kindness that closes the album, where their voices are echoing each other, playing a game that will unsettle you. Thrilling!
If you are ever wondering what Hot Guts may sound like, some tracks could remind you of Clan of Xymox (Name of the World), Nine Inch Nails or, mainly for our Belgian readers who may remember them, Poésie Noire (Fires). But such comparisons are just intended to hook the readers and urge you to listen to Wilds, not to underscore real similarities.
Call it post-punk, post-electro or post-industrial, Wilds is post-apocalyptic. It is dark, cold and eerie, but above all it is a delight for all those who think music should not be as bright as the sun. Actually Wes himself summarizes all this very well in Drift chanting ad libitum “There is no light to follow (when we drift)”. Classy!
• The Newsroom-Season 2
THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH • Beautiful and Damned
JOSEPHN HAHN • Mall
ELUVEITIE • Origins
CATHERINE BREILLAT • Romance
INCITE • Light Spin
DANY BOON • Supercondriaque
RINGEL-S, THE KLINIK AND THE NEON JUDGEMENT • De Casino, St.-Niklaas 8/11/2014
DAVID MICHOD • The Rover
EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN • Diksmuide, Belgium (08/11/14)
Same genre: DARK ELECTRO
COMBICHRIST • Compliance
MILDREDA • I was never really there
PORTION CONTROL • SEED EP3
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PYRROLINE • Struggling
WULF7 • Dark Hate
FIX8:SED8 • The Inevitable Relapse (Limited Edition)
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IMPLANT • Phantom Pain
PLACEBO EFFECT • Shattered Souls
Same genre: DARK WAVE
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THIS ETERNAL DECAY • Silence
OCTOLAB • Mystery Park
AIMAPROJECT • Di AimA Il Segno
SAIGON BLUE RAIN • Pink Obsession
VARIOUS ARTISTS • DARKSIDE OF THE CON III
BLUTENGEL • UN:GOTT
EUROPEAN GHOST • Collections Of Shadows
WANT/ED • Unthinkable
DARK DOOR • Inferno
Same genre: INDUSTRIAL
MATT HART • TALES OF TERRA & CHAOS RETOLD
IMPERATIVE REACTION • Mirror
HA:PEOPLE.3.55 • El Dia de la Bestia, Part 2 : WAR!
PORTION CONTROL • SEED EP 2
DIVE • Where do we go from here
SUICIDE COMMANDO • Mindstrip Redux
JESU • When I Was Small
PORTION CONTROL • SEED EP1
ALSO • Live in Celovec
SHERAPHIM SYSTEM • Phoenix
Same genre: POST PUNK
THE ULTIMATE DREAMERS • Live Happily While Waiting For Death
DARK • Nightmare
DE DELVERS • Hart in neonlicht
SJOBLOM • Tape
PINK TURNS BLUE • There Must Be So Much More
TERMINAL SERIOUS • Love Was Lies
THE MARS MODEL • Sister Glory / Frozen in Time
STRUGGLER • Wilma (Determinated Protector)
FAUST PROJECT • The Future Comes On Sleeping Pills
THE MARS MODEL • FrancoBelga