Hadouken! are no strangers to a good time, and if their latest offering Every Weekend is anything to go by, they were having a ball. Fans of the group have been waiting almost five years for their return and Every Weekend could be their best entry yet into a genre crowded with “emerging” artists and sub genres.
Modern dance and electronic music has seen a new renaissance in the past couple of years in between Hadouken! albums with dubstep and trap inundating the charts thanks to producers such as Skrillex, Nero and (uggh) David Guetta. But before this review descends into a tirade (well deserved I might add) doggedly burning David Guetta, I have to say, I have never been happier for what has keenly been described as the teenage years of dance music. If you can think of David Guetta as the jock footballer who everybody confesses to like and nobody is game enough to tell has no personality then Hadouken! is the videogame playing nerd who can name every artist and subgenre on the planet – and Every Weekend shows it. Ranging from bass pounding trance numbers such as ‘As One’ to the respectable DnB number ‘Daylight’ to the downright filthy neo-Dubstep ‘Parasite’; (to quote John Simm in Human Traffic) “The weekend has landed!”.
This is not your average dance music album. It probably won’t make the list of best sellers or even make the top forty but you can bet your socks it will make it into the top 10 albums of 2013 in every dance producer and BBC1 radio presenter’s list this year. Edgy, unforgiving and yet sweet and entrancing; Every Weekend should be the soundtrack to every party animals Saturday night outing. It’s not surprising the album is actually a cheeky concept album and a timeline for a night hard on the pills and out on the dancefloor. Just look at the tracklisting and the order. It starts out with Vortex (a neat reference to coming on), Levitate, Bliss Out, As One, Spill Your Guts, The Comedown and Daylight. Although these may seem obvious to most, they are so perfectly coded within the grey area of double entendre that it could so easily describe nearly every relationship you’ve ever had as well.
Now for the criticism. Yeah yeah, you knew it was coming. I could rave about this album (see what I did there? Rave? Get it..oh, carry on reading…) but it has some glaring flaws. None more glaring than its slack and somewhat sloppy release. I understand bands tour and this band tours a lot (well, not to Australia…) but it’s no excuse for taking five years to release an album which contains seven songs you would have already heard before the album released. Like most modern dance, leaks happen, but usually this happens due to label security (or insecurity as the case may be) and not slackness on the part of the artist slapping together an album. I COULD blame them for this but I think this blame lies solely at the feet of their newly acquired label; Ministry of Sound. Like the musically equivalent of Coles or Woolworth, MoS has an insatiable hunger for the “latest” thing in dance and sometimes swallows up great artists such as Hadouken! with their lure of tasty A&E and promises of fame and stardom the likes of David Guetta. This has resulted in Every Weekend being cobbled together from old EPs, collaborations and early release singles. Again, this is a brilliant album which blows Flo Rida out of the water (not THAT hard) but it doesn’t reach the dizzying heights of ‘For The Masses’ or ‘Music for the Accelerated Generation’. They have even lost their signature namesake style of fusing 8-bit video game sound into banging grime-styled goodness.
As a fan this album is bittersweet. For those of us who revelled in the squalor of chip-tune glitch-hop in the first album and freaked the post-apocalyptic throbs of the second album, Every Weekend is not the face smashing end to the trilogy we were hoping for. That said, for those who have never heard Hadouken!, this is a nice soft-entry point to their style and sound. After all, it’s still way better than David “I-fuck-pop-stars-for-collaborations” Guetta….
***DANCE OFF TIME***
8/10 Starstruck Rolands