Review of hadouken's album For The Masses
Back in 2007/2008 we were told by certain music publications that Hadouken were a band worth caring about. Fast forward a few years to 2010 and the same publications are now telling us that the Leeds formed Watford based band aren't worth bothering with at all. Hmm, that's quite a U turn isn't it? Could this be due to the fact that they no longer stand behind the nu-rave scene with which they were perhaps unfairly mixed in with? Perhaps. But it seems that sometimes bands that are part of scenes are allowed to get away with murder, just as long as they bolster a movement that keeps young and impressionable music fans buying into it. Their last effort, Music For An Accelerated Culture didn't exactly wipe the bored in terms of reviews, but it was given the benefit of the doubt on the grounds that it was 'tongue in cheek' Well after hearing For the Masses, it's quite obvious that it really wasn't as the same sentiment remains.
Recorded in Holland, with Dutch electronic producers Noisia, this is a record that's as violent and spiky as its predecessor. If anything it's even more rough around the edges, with its Prodigy moulded beats and bleeps making an appearance on every track. Its attempts to be intimidating unfortunately fall short by some length, most notably in the cases of Mic Check and M.A.D. This is despite singer James Smith hiding his middle class accent with more success than he did last time around.
There are times when the sickly beats/aggressive lyrics formula works though, and that's in the case of Turn The Lights Out. With its lyrical bile of 'This is your last chance boy/get ready for the rough and tumble if you wanna be starting something' spill out over an equally heavy beat, its melodic chorus will probably give it a chance of some radio play. Similarly Bombshock with its vibrating, electrifying presence makes itself hard to ignore as it grates into your consciousness uninvited.
Other than those brief shots of inventiveness, the rest of the album struggles to deliver on its obvious intent. Its attempts to shock and intimidate fail on both counts as its violent lyrics and offensive sounds coming across as cheap gimmicks. For the Masses does however contain two tracks with mainstream capabilities. And it's in the form of Bombshock and Turn The Lights Out that suggest Hadouken may have hope for the future.