Kane Hodder – The Pleasure To Remain So Heartless (CD)

With immediate influences to Converge and Hidden In Plain View, Kane Hodder does the light/dark dynamic of vocals impressively, with the light set of vocals capturing all the harmony and melody of Ryan (Yellowcard) as well as Serj (SOAD) and the dark set being fairly par for the course. Moving perilously close to the insincere arena rock of later-day U2 in the late minutes of “Last of the Anti-Fascist Warriors”, Kane Hodder finally moves back into the familiar Clutch-screamed out style of vocals. Bringing out a much-needed strong bass presence for “I Think Patrick Swayze is Sexy” as well as a clap/multi-vocal chorus, Kane Hodder simultaneously banishes all previous problems but introduces to its audience another key issue: that of over-loading a track with different sounds and currents. Each track on “Pleasure” has an infectious melody that the band never maintains through the entirety of a track. Take, for example, “Jason Dean was a Teen Liberator”, where Andy’s melodramatic opening vocals are spun into an Alien Ant Farm-vibe, practically as much of a flip-mode as any one individual is capable.

A non-starter at best, “Heaven Help Me! I Love A Psychotic”is a saccharine-laced track that recalls your average doucher with guitar at a coffee shop instead of an intense, extremely-talented post-hardcore act. Even the incorporation of an increased tempo and staggered guitar lines at various intervals during this track can’t save it from being extraordinarily trite and weak. Beginning “A Machine in the World of Man” in much the same way as “Psychotic”, Kane Hodder are able to steer this track into some bounty – that being a solid track. Even though the Rush-influenced guitar and bass lines work at cross purposes much of the time, threatening to dwarf out Andy’s vocals at every possible section. The incorporation of a C.C. Deville-influenced guitar line in “Machine”, while striking in its use, really gives the track a timeless feel that simply being a post-hardcore act will not give.

Kane Hodder is a band that has many more influences in a myriad of genres, something that your average post-hardcore band won’t have, as they try to recall eighties hair-metal (Helloween for Avenged Sevenfold). While some of the influences may be a little suspect (the tendency of the band to go into frat-rock mode), the band is incredibly talented at drawing in everything at all that has influenced them. While they still need some work in paring down some of their tracks to render them less cluttered, I have no doubt that this relatively minor problem will be fixed in due time.

Top Tracks: I Think Patrick Swayze is Sexy, A Machine in the World of Man

Rating: 5.9/10

Kane Hodder – The Pleasure To Remain So Heartless / 2004 Cowboy Versus Sailor / http://www.hodderrock.com/kanehodder.html / http://www.suburbanhome.com / Reviewed 26 November 2004

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