REVIEW: Hideous Input - "E Sides"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

Hideous InputAs usual, the Legend's editor sent me a stack of music slated for review. One in particular stood out as a CD-R with a typewritten press kit with some handwriting on it. Inwardly I was cringing because past experience simply reminds me that anything this homemade will most likely sound just as amateurish.. However, a pang of conscience encroached, helping to remind me that many underground bands are doing what they can with the best that they can afford. Sympathy won out and I hesitatingly put this CD into the player, almost wincing at what was about to assault my senses.

Let it be known that looks are certainly very deceiving. This CD of outtakes sounds nothing short of a full studio recording with all the perks. Not having heard this band before, there wasn't anything to evaluate the work against. If this is unreleased material, one can only imagine what the actual releases sound like.

Little Wings oddly starts with retro stylization, backward samples and gentle noise effects that simply make you wonder where this is all going. Moodier tones take over as the tenor vocals and choruses are delivered in a sotto voce style. This experimental electronic piece simply recreated a ballad to sound like a drug induced excursion. Heimlich turns up the heat with electronic pulses that is as up to date for the industrial/synthpop crowd as anything you can imagine. The song captures the "formula" for this and other genres, adds a few other touches and loops it through a repetitive sample for the chorus.

Lie To Me is reminiscent of the ballads from early 80's without sounding like they stole anything from these musical forbearers. Live Backwards opens with odd chanting, drum and bass effects, and a steady dance beat. The vocals enter with a strong David Bowie influence that isn't an actual "rip-off" as much as an homage to that creative genius. It is easy to contend that Bowie would sell his eyeteeth for this track if he knew about it. The New Romantic delves into a systematic high BPM and adds the vocals through compressors and filters, giving yet again another Bowie inspired piece that also seems to reflect some of the best innovation during the height of the New Wave era.

A Girl For Mother makes excellent use of bass lines throughout the synthpop stylization in a medium beat track. The lyrics are rather quirky and tongue in cheek while also keeping a bit of seriousness about it. Dead And Buried is a cover of Alien Sex Fiend's early hit. Whatever you know about the former hit, put it out of your mind. Hideous Input made this track completely their own as if they were meant to have it from the outset. There are far more electro-industrial elements with this track which are given full range to flex their muscles. The band is applauded for taking a track that has been heard a million times and infusing such a new life into it to recreate it for yet another up and coming generation.

Hideous Input Sucks demonstrates far more originality than the latest Apoptygma Berzerk release. There are the pre-requisite dance elements, however there are enough additions and tweaks of interesting sounds and samples that the track will captivate the listener. The most amazing thing with this track is how it was all recorded with a "modest" budget. The only thing that detracted from the track was the "rap" at the end of the song, but this could easily be remixed out if a DJ was so inclined to do so.

Considering the fact that it was with great trepidation that I selected this disc first for my review assignment, it is emphatically stated now that it was also a very good choice.

Den Hideous states that he is a "one man project in a modest studio utilizing modest equipment in an attempt to make a new type of music." New Wave and Bowie comparisons aside, had this been released back in the early 80's it would have been too ahead of it's time. Quite frankly, Hideous did more with "modest" equipment than half a dozen industrial/synthpop bands who have had their creativity pampered right out of them. The music is stylized, moody and with a great deal of flowing elements that demonstrate the ability to take chaos and create order. Hideous also demonstrated that within the confines of his "modest" studio, New Wave was allowed to grow up through the ages of time, with a new style and sound fitting for the new generation.

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