'Children of the Underground', Hussle Club's awesome debut EP is full of surprises. Mixing industrial, post-punk, and darkwave, the album strays pretty far from Santigold's pop-with-attitude. For an album by an artist known primarily as a drummer, it features little to no live drumming, giving up that position to the trusty 909. Because let's be honest, the 909 never shows up late to rehearsal, having forgotten how to play all your songs.
The first two tracks are right out of Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine era playbook. Aggressively hooky, “Childen of the Underground” rides a slap bass riff over glitchy synths and reverb-decked old-school industrial drums before hitting a massive chorus. The lyrics aren't the deepest, but they're built for the sort of anthemic chant that pretty much demands you sing along with it. As the EP goes on, the NIN nods give way to more and more to Depeche Mode by way of God Lives Underwater. (Anyone remember them? No? Just me? Fine. How about Gravity Kills?) But the songs always keep Terance's skill at giant sing-along choruses and detailed production front and center.
The final track, “Quaranteenager” is the best of the bunch. It's a lean post-punk track built on an infectiously danceable backbone. The production is more stripped down than the rest of the EP, but it still has the details and nuance that make Hussle Club interesting. It's one of those awesome moments where Hustle Club becomes more than a sum of it's influences, and becomes something new.
- Words by Nathan Leigh
The whole EP can be downloaded for free here: http://www.scionav.com/collection/1038!