CD Review: The Hypnotics – Static Fuzz Radio
For a group that planned only to be a for-fun recording project, The Hypnotics really don’t have much to complain about. Their first full-length album has already reached number eleven in the Canadian College Radio Charts, hit number one in Windsor multiple times, and received airplay in cities across the country. All of this even before it’s official release.
Static Fuzz Radio is the follow-up to the bands debut EP, Soul at Seven, which came out in October of 2010. Their new album was recorded at Chemical Sound in Toronto, a studio known for it’s use of analog gear, and has recorded such acts as The Black Keys, Hunter Valentine, and Tokyo Police Club. It was produced and mixed by Dean Marino (of Papermaps) and Jay Sadlowski.
Set to be officially released this Friday, February 3rd at FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. W. Main Level) The Hypnotics will be joined by James O-L and the Villains, The Nefidovs, and Paul Jacobs (now working under the moniker Raised By Weeds). Admission to the show is free, and the album will be available in both CD and vinyl formats.
This CD is a great ten-song collection of vintage-sounding surfy garage rock. Moving through the songs you’ll find a lot of varying influences that the two song writers draw from. The Brothers Konstantino, Dave and Mike, handle the bulk of that, and leave the beat-writing to drummer TJ Dowhaniuk.
Opening with Here She Comes Now, listeners are treated to some lovely fuzzy bass before the full song kicks in with some new-wave sounding garage punk. The bouncy sound of the song fronted by Mike’s adorably unique vocals makes this song the epitome of the band’s sound, and a great introduction to what they do.
TV Blues is one of my favourite songs, and I first had the chance to hear it when they played an opening spot for Orphan Choir at the 2011 Harvesting the F.A.M. Festival. This was a great gig for The Hypnotics, exposing them to a larger audience than had previously been able to enjoy them. This track I find to be particularly enjoyable for it’s terrific guitar riff and fuzzy tone, played at a moderate, plodding pace. All elements really fuse together to create a spectacularly groovy tune.
Getting a bit more punk, Lipstick on My Collar is a much different feeling, missing a lot of the higher sounds you’ll find in previous tracks. Still with that new-wave sound to it, this track features a nice guitar solo, a beautiful bass lines, and ends with a surprising and amusing “cha cha cha!”
Holiday in the City is an example of Dave’s songwriting and vocal abilities. This is a song that requires some dancing shoes, for sure. A very fifties-inspired sound, there are some great drum fills on this one, and the whole thing rolls through it’s boisterous two and a half minutes with a lot of energy.
By this point in the album it’s very easy to see why college radio stations are eating it up, and now we’re into a song about love gone wrong, which could only be expected. Nobody But You features some of the best drum-work to be found on the CD, providing an interesting background and really helping the song to stand out. TJ’s diverse musical background is now really becoming apparent in his playing with this group.
The second side of the vinyl starts with Radio City, a heavily rock-influenced piece. A very 60′s sound and more aggressive performance gives this song a unique feel. A great mix of all elements, this track can easily be imagined as a live performance.
One of the more popular songs off the album so far, Our Generation is The Hypnotics’ song about the current state and mindset of young people in our society. Think Bad Religion’s 21st Century Digital Boy done with a surf-rock feel, and you’ll get the idea of this track.
She Gives Me Everything is another rock song, one with some great sing-a-long lyrics. Upfront vocals,atop a bed of punky guitars, fuzzy bass, and quick drum beats.
Seemingly a follow-up to Nobody But You, A Modern Romance is asking for another chance. This is one that will likely induce dancing in listeners, with it’s poppy rhythm and quick beats.
Closing off the disc is another one I highly recommend, Paradise Beach. A very different sound that it’s preceding songs, it’s got watery sounding coming from the left, and an altogether stripped down feel. A good one for swaying along to, this is a low-key track with a great groove and feeling to it.
To pick up your copy of Static Fuzz Radio, visit The Hypnotics on Bandcamp, or go to their show at FM Lounge this weekend.
Static Fuzz Radio will be released by The Hypnotics at FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. W, Main Level) on Friday, February 3rd, along with James O-L and the Villains, The Nefidovs, and Paul Jacob. Doors open at 9 pm, admission is free, and 19+ are welcome.