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Go to the Hangedup website  Hangedup - Kicker in Tow [Constellation Records - 2002]

To me there are three kinds of good albums: those that come out of nowhere and really impress you, those that you had high expectations for and they fulfill or surpass them, and the ones that make you want to drop whatever career you’re pursuing, pick up an instrument and become a member of the band.

This new album by Hangedup almost falls in the third category. I say “almost” because I can’t say that it’s flawless and the band doesn’t completely succeeds in keeping up the orgasmic intensity for the whole duration, but it’s certainly one of the most enjoyable new albums that I’ve heard in a while (compared to recent Constellation releases, I’d say it’s at least as good as Do Make Say Think’s latest, if very different musically).

Hangedup is a duo comprised of Geneviève Heistek and Eric Craven playing respectively viola and percussions (Harris Newman contributes bass on one track). I don’t know how long those two have been playing together or if it’s simply that they are soulmates, but things certainly clicked in the studio and what was left on tape could only be had with genuine heart & soul, a little elbow grease and a finely tuned, almost telepathic, musical union.

The album, Kicker in Tow, fits somewhere in the “raw instrumental avant-rock with touches of folk influences” category, if such a thing exists. Genevieve’s amplified viola is played with punk energy (“Kinetic Work”) half of the time, and with a flair for experimentation, tonal colouring and improvisation the other half (the album’s epic masterpiece: “No more bad future”). Eric’s drumming can only be described as impressive yet musical, reminding me of one of my personal favourites in the way it brings each song to the next level and couldn’t be replaced by an ordinary timekeeper: Joey Baron (in spirit, if not in technique).

Now should I pick up drums or viola? Hard to decide, but what I do know is that you should pick up Kicker in Tow as soon as possible.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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