Kane Hodder – The Pleasure to Remain so Heartless
Release Date: October 19, 2004
Record Label: Suburban Home
People always talk about bands having the “X” factor – that one thing that sets them apart from everyone else in their genre. Kane Hodder possesses this X factor, and it is an incredible vocalist. Andy takes control of the music with his incredible vocal range and deep, snarling growl of a scream. Offbeat songs with heavy punk influence carry forth melodies while Andy breaks into falsetto, which is often immediately followed by brash screaming. The second track, “I Think Patrick Swayze is Sexy” is a catchy number with extremely high vocals matched by guitar solos, quick drumming, and sick breakdowns. It’s even got a section full of hand claps and yet another with an intricate bass solo, all balanced by the magnificent screams of Andy. It’s hard to imagine that a guy who sings like The Darkness can also scream like Converge.
The following track “Jason Dean was a Teen Liberator” continues to define Kane Hodder’s unique sound. Andy sings in a sassy fashion, randomly breaking into his trademark falsetto to hit certain notes or his passionate scream to punch a chorus into gear. As the album progresses, each song becomes more unpredictable from the last, from songs opening with breakdowns and electronic effects, to Andy’s bizarre style of out of key and rambling singing. There’s a nice balance between straight-up tempo and the obscure verses and breakdowns – Andy tends to scream when the song direction is clear, and then wails strangely when the CD begins to experiment. Parts of Kane Hodder’s sound remind me of Minus the Bear, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and even MxPx at times – but nothing really stands out to make them sound like anyone in particular.
“You Will Sign Your Crimes with a Silver Bullet”, possibly the hardest track on the record, includes some truly raw vocals. The song drives forward at a quick tempo, but as soon as you think the song is hardcore, the pace transitions into a slower prog-rock style. That’s one thing you will get when listening to Kane Hodder – complete unpredictability. The minute I thought I had the band’s sound defined, I was proven wrong. While Andy has one of the most interesting voices in rock, the variable pace of the music becomes well, predictable. Each song becomes a task to listen to, because the minute Kane Hodder settles into a solid paced jam or breakdown, they throw a curveball and everything changes again. After a while, the changes begin to occur in the same places, and the uniqueness begins to wear thin. That being said, Kane Hodder is completely refreshing and enjoyable to listen to nonetheless. Their strange brand of punk/progressive/hardcore will entertain any listener, even if it is only for a few songs.