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May 14th, 2014 DAVE CANTOR | Album Reviews
 

Album Review: Hot Victory

Hot Victory (Eolian Empire)

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[CLASHING ROBOTS] This is all a horrible, chemical dream, from the savage drumming to the woozy electronic manipulations. After releasing Triangulum Australe a few years ago, the duo of Caitlin Love and Ben Stoller—each playing drums and electronics—has engaged in more of a dystopian aural aesthetic, and seen fit to issue an album’s worth of jarring samples and polyrhythmic propulsion unmatched by anyone this side of Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.

Hot Victory’s newly issued self-titled album finds the pair awash in an industrial influence, with “Island Realm,” the album’s second cut, being particularly devoid of levity. The song doesn’t necessarily evoke visions of being surrounded on all sides by water, unless your island nation happens to be under siege by malevolent robots. And the album’s other five tracks only slightly hedge toward airier territory. “Harmony of Spheres” takes on the most New Age vibe. There’s a twinkling key loop set in front of the pair’s drumming, which only asserts itself during the composition’s bridge. But when it does, the percussion is as damaging as anywhere on the album.

The tension created by Hot Victory’s unruly and mechanical-sounding tastes has wrought a unique vision amid a crowded avant field. And even if making it through the album’s opener—a 12-minute, paranoia-infested number called “Teneabrae”—is a bit difficult, it’d be equally hard to turn away and not hear how this commotion is going to end.


SEE IT: Hot Victory plays Branx, 320 SE 2nd Ave., with Floor, Thrones and Norska, on Friday, May 16. 7:30 pm. $12. All ages.

 
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