Record of the Week: HOAX LPHardcore as folk art; an American youth report…
Here is an LP that forms a look back at the end of the world with stark lyrics evoking Rudolph Wurlitzer, like incursions into desolate American landscapes and mindsets. It’s hard not to invoke clichés when discussing the sounds on this record; “pummeling,” “relentless,” “charging,” all words that make me think of the delivery of a TV sports journalist or someone discussing factory machinery in motion or something. Brutal music for intolerant hardcore fans, with vocals rendered in a bestial fashion over encrusted, treated guitars and an unrelenting rhythm section.
You probably already have an opinion in regards to HOAX; they are one of those bands that get written about by people that usually don’t notice hardcore. Hardcore, of course, doesn’t need outside attention; it exists on its own terms until it no longer serves a purpose. Some bands attempt to make something that is more than a collection of easily noted influences, a totality of experience for the viewer/listener, something that transcends the endless array of underground records that will end up in the 99¢ bin, forgotten in five years by all but a few.
Does this record serve such a purpose?! I saw this band play in a cave right by the Pacific Ocean last month and listening to this LP doesn’t live up to that experience. I’ve listened to it everyday, usually whilst commuting to work, which is some sort of endorsement, although ultimately I don’t think legacy or longevity should be considerations in the MRR review section.
I’ve heard they made enough of these so everyone can have one, so don’t worry about limited edition freak-out sessions alone in your room in front of the computer. I also heard that this is their swan song. Who knows what HOAX’s fate is, or really cares; this is a time capsule for a certain sound/era of USHC, complete with a huge selection of posters by various artists and miscreants (from Sugi to Heather Benjamin, for you to wallpaper your room in total devotion).