Hi Red Center – Architectural Failures (CD)

Hi Red Center – Architectural Failures / 2006 Pangea / 10 Tracks / http://www.hiredcenter.com / http://www.pangaearecordings.com / Reviewed 26 April 2006

Hi Red Center start off their “Architectural Failures” in a way that I’ve never heard a band start a disc. A high amount of electronic fuzz mixes with a lo-fi type of sound, only to have that amalgamation take on a much more noise-influenced sound. What results is something that is very catchy in terms of radio-friendliness but is simultaneously spastic and experimental. Hi Red Center has a slam dunk with this first track, “Red/Green”, and captures listeners in the space of less than three minutes. Different sounds await listeners each time that Hi Red Center starts a track on “Architectural Failures”.

For example, “Captain Waltz” has a very Sesame Street meets Tron type of feel, swaddled with a heavy coat of indie rock. This album takes a lot of attention to properly understand it, but the payoff that Hi Red Center have for their fans is nothing less than amazing. If enough individuals get a chance to listen to Hi Red Center, there is no doubt in my mind that this album will be put alongside the works of Pere Ubu and Faust as being the most influential to rock music. Tracks are typically short, with the entirety of this ten-track disc gliding in at under thirty minutes. However short the disc may be, the replay value and the density of the compositions makes it a fact that this album can be pun tens of times more than anything else on the market.

Even when Hi Red Center ends a track with a grating noise that will have individuals scrambling for the remote (as is the case during “Captain Waltz”, individuals will have to keep listening as the beauty of pure chaos (“Evildoer”) will reign them in for a few more tracks. Overall, Hi Red Center create a very eclectic sound to their “Architectural Failures” that does not have a specific referent in regards to the genre or time period that the band finds themselves most comfortable. The band has came out of nowhere, and it may just be under their capable hands that the face of rock is changed from the bland visage it currently enjoys to something much more delightful for all to look at. One just needs to listen to the unlikely dance style of “Magic Teeth” to see that Hi Red Center operate on a completely different plane than other acts out now, and that it will be this outlook that dominates in the near future.

Top Tracks: Magic Teeth, Eureka

Rating: 7.6/10

[JMcQ]

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