With their chaotic blend of breakneck speed techno, riotous dub-metal and punishing hip-hop, London quintet Hadouken! once had the whole grindie, nu-rave, dance-punk, whatever you want to call it scene virtually sewn up. But with the whole EDM movement exploding during their two year absence, the band now find themselves competing with the whole US brostep crowd for their third album, Every Weekend.
Now on their own Surface Noise Recordings label, the band’s response is to go even bigger. Opener “The Vortex” blends frontman James Smith’s quickfire MC delivery with a cavalcade of super-sized dub wobbles. “Parasite” sounds as if The Prodigy, Rage Against The Machine and Dizzee Rascal have collided in one giant drum ‘n’ bass pile-up. Meanwhile, the speaker-blasting bass-lines of “Spill Your Guts” are as stomach-churning as its title suggests.
But having released several tracks through Ministry of Sound since 2010’s For The Masses, Hadouken! also now appear to have one eye on the charts. “Bad Signal” is a Chase & Status-esque venture into melodic dubstep which brings The Supremes’ Motown classic, “You Keep Me Hanging On,” kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. “Levitate” is essentially a 90s ‘hands in the air’ trance-pop classic given a propulsive stadium rock makeover, and “Stop Time” even recalls David Guetta and Sia’s many anthemic collaborations before it eventually bursts into a bleep-laden slice of turbo-charged breakbeat.
Having recruited Dutch electronic trio Noisia, fellow video game enthusiasts Loadstar and drum ‘n’ bass favourites Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Every Weekend is sometimes more about the production, particularly on the latter’s cinematic horror score closer, “Daylight,” which virtually relegates Hadouken! to the status of guests on their own record.
But with every Tom, Dick and Harry DJ currently jumping aboard the EDM bandwagon, Every Weekend is a welcome reminder of who actually got in there first.