Music for an Accelerated Culture, by Hadouken!
Suggested by Lea Syme
For this project, I listen to the Randomised albums on my streaming services.
At first, this meant Amazon Music. However, I discovered part-way into this journey that I’d require a lightly more robust catalogue to capture all the tunes on show, so I signed up for Spotify Premium a few days in.
Consequently, when my Spotify Wrapped data (the analysis of my personal listening habits since I began using their Premium service) arrived, it was all rather specialist and anaemic. And it claimed, for some reason, that my favourite artist was James Levine, purely because I sat through three hours of opera for Album 7.
It said I’d listened to ninety-five new genres in 2020, which I thought was a cracking figure. I was sure that wouldn’t be topped, but shares on social media soon burst that bubble. Spotify signifies a whopping 5071 genres, and if you’re not in four figures then you might as well stop playing.
So many of these genres are patently ludicrous. I mean, what’s ostrock? Or antiviral pop? Deep CCM? Deep discofox? Vocaloid? Klemzer, humppa, choro, shush, dong-yo, boom bap? Personally, I like the sound of shush, and the genre of guitar case makes me laugh a little too much.
I mention this genre soup because Hadouken! – please note the exclamation mark – are a genre I don’t think I’ve tackled yet: dance-punk. Pretty exciting stuff all round.
My previous brush with this band is from the soundtrack of Hadouken!’s viral video People Are Awesome 2013. This was a compilation video of home-movie-style snippets that showcased people doing, well, awesome things. I mean, it wasn’t people curing cancer or writing symphonies, but there’s definitely beauty in watching a bloke do a somersault over a speeding car. The Hadouken! song Levitate was the backing choice, and it’s glorious. I was a bit obsessed with it for a while. So, I went into this listen with high hopes.
Was I disappointed? Yes. And no.
Music for an Accelerated Culture is the band’s studio debut, and it has a raw and angry feel to it in places. The fusion of punk sensibility and stomping euro-dance beats is a good one, and the songs are as catchy as all hell, but there is a feel of Student Disco to the sound that’s a little off-putting. Get Smashed Gate Crash is a wild and energetic opener with perhaps the most punk-to-dance ratio of the album, with the faux cockney drawl declaring that the band are “the wasted yoof” in pure punk style.
Lyrically, the band can be a little trite, such as the carbon-dating stuff in the otherwise excellent Crank It Up: “Rip the tune off the compact disc and drag-drop into your favourites playlist / Convert to MP3 and give it 5 stars in your iTunes library”. At other times, they can be preachy, such as Liquid Lives, in which the band decry the state of the nation’s binge drinking problem.
Overall, I did enjoy this album, although there was nothing quite as euphoric as Levitate. My standout song is That Boy That Girl, with its siren synths and almost grime vocal. Music for an Accelerated Culture gets 7/10.