Meet the band with a million labels and genres attached to them. In an interview with Live Music Scene guitarist James McKeown agrees on ‘psychedelic-folk-electronic tinged pop’. The only one I can think of is genius, that’s a genre right?!
Hailing from the south-west Hi-Fiction Science have created a stunning debut album. It combines so many sounds things will start to smell a funny colour. The self-titled breaks you in gently with the opener Black Flower. A gentle track, a subtle guitar riff and calming drumbeat create the perfect foundation for Maria Charles’s powerful yet comforting vocals. Charles’s vocals wouldn’t sound out of place in a Lord of the Rings film sung by some half elf-half Madonna-quarter actual real person. At times the lyrics delivered by Charles actually sound like a folk nursery rhyme, clear especially on Undulating Blue. This makes the relationship with the music mesmerising. After track one however it’s every eardrum for itself.
The wailing guitars of tracks such as Old World or the almost punk closer Undulating contrast with the vocals heroically, taking your attention hostage. Simultaneously other tracks such as Kosmonaut and Zabriskie create soundscapes that steal you away to another place. Zabriskie transports you to a lazy summer’s day soaked in hazy sunshine. Kosmonaut has a mystical feel to it courtesy of a genius sitar and otherworldly lyrics. The album comes with its moment of darkness, a few indie-esque vibes and relaxation that makes you more chilled than Winston. The greatest strength of this variety is the natural unforced feel it has.
The guitar work on the album is first class, suiting the mood of each track perfectly whilst surprising you continuously. It creates great riffs and moments of distortion throughout. An excellent example of this is track six, Kosmonaut. The combination of sounds keeps you constantly in lost in the sound and in a state of awe. The band even has its own imprint on which this album is released, Negative Drive Records.
This is an album made for quality speakers or headphones so good they take up half your head. By the last track ends and throws you back into the real world with a sudden stop you’ll be disorientated. As well as having somehow acquired a slight suntan you’ll be annoyed at the suddenness of the end. It may take one or two listens to get under your skin but when it does it’s quite an album. Well worth tracking down.
01. Black Flower
02. Old World
04. Metal Terrapin
05. Spirit Broken
09. Undulating Blue