The Hysterical Injury – Dead Wolf Situation (Self Released)
Considering Hysterical Injury are one of the best bands in the South West the fact that we haven’t reviewed their latest album yet (released back in January) can only be considered as a massive oversight on our part. We have, of course, mentioned them in a live context before (a context they need to be seen in to be believed) but as the recorded sound of HI is, to say the very least (or, indeed, too underxagerate quite dramatically), none too shabby either we’d encourage you to grab for yourselves a copy of this album. Frankly we consider Hysterical Injury to be one of the most adept controlled noise making bands out there, but you don’t have to just take our word for it, here’s what Natalie Dzerins has to say about the album.
Hysterical Injury are a two-piece Bath-based band founded by brother and sister duo Tom and Annie Gardiner in 2007. They’ve recently released their debut full-length album, Dead Wolf Situation.
Annie fronts the Hysterical Injury, singing and playing bass, while Tom is in charge of percussion. The contrast between the heavy bass and her ethereal, almost twee vocals is used to great effect throughout the record, bringing to mind the Pixies, Team Dresch or a less snotty Elastica. The album opens very solidly with Halo Alkanes, where driving bass riffs meet vocals which switch between sing-song poppiness and soulful harmonies and prime the listener for the rest of the album.
The record continues in the same accomplished way. The Gardiner siblings are a very talented duo, and if you didn’t know there were only two of them you would never realise it (a feat borne out by their live shows (as mentioned above) – I saw them last year in Bristol and was very impressed). The tracks run a gamut of styles and emotions, but it is held together by the central ‘feel’ of the band; so while Vex (track 4) might remind you of Goldfrapp & Bitch’s Balls (track 11) might make you think of Catatonia, it all also sounds unmistakably like Hysterical Injury – and Hysterical Injury sound great, especially with the multi-layering of Annie’s vocals in most of the songs.
It’s hard to pick stand-out songs from such a strong album. Personally I liked the Le Tigre-like bomp of Cycle One (see video above, all filmed on mobile phones) and the split personality of The Works, which switches from softly sung verses to raucous bass lines, then back again without batting an eye. Obvious mention should go to their newly released single too, Icebreak, which sounds like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs got in a fight with Regina Spektor, but then they all made up and decided to record a song instead. The single comes with the KLAD HEST remix of Into the Cabin and an acoustic version of Cycle One, the originals of which can both be found on the album.
To conclude, if you like your indie-garage rock with stunning vocals, catchy beats and a splash of Kate Bush, buy this album – it’s really quite good.