I’m not sure if I’ve ever been caught as off guard by a record as I have with France’s Hardcore Anal Hydrogen and their new record The Talas Of Satan. Trying to judge to proverbial book by its cover, I thought I was about to pop in an album from weird Southern California hippy act called “Hardcore And Hydrogen”. Based on the artwork, and seemingly ignoring the title of the record, I predicted more Hoobastank than the audio ADHD that I was delivered.

For the past few days, I’ve really been at a loss for words on how to exactly tackle this oddity of music. There isn’t exactly a genre that I can attach this too because it’s so off the wall and everywhere that this French quartet has found themselves in a category all to themselves. Opening the record with a Hindu-like tribal beat and kicking into a pseudo nu-metal riff on top of it, my early prediction of something in the realm of 311 and other weed fueled radio rock seemed to be on point. Just as quickly as the tribal started it ended with an onslaught of a nu-metal in vain of a weird Soulfly and Puya hybrid. Moments later, we were back with the tribal that started the record off. The opening track would prove to be an absolute bad example of what was about to come. For the next 11 tracks, little sense is made. HAH (as they like to be called) proceeds to jump around from Slipknot throwout riffs, to Dillinger Escape Plan scales, to Meshuggah like djent, a symphonic black metal section, a Hatebreed riff or two, some punk with J-Pop keyboards overtop, and some Asian elevator music all which are strung together System Of A Down type barking and weird DJ and electronic effects appearing at really random times. It reminds me a lot of Japan’s Maximum The Hormone. Not a single song sounds like the one that came before it. While the listed mess of incoherence that I just mentioned sounds like a catastrophe on paper, for whatever reason Hardcore Anal Hydrogen pulls it off and is still able to maintain a sense that each song is still theirs. While you are not going to put it together on the first listen, amongst the chaos there is a central idea that pulls the songs together.

I spent the first few run throughs of the record sitting in confusion because nothing made sense to me. I noticed that there was some obvious real talent in the band because only talented individuals could go all over the place like that but make the songs sound coherent. Because I wasn’t ready to review this after even a handful of listens, I found myself listening to this on repeat for almost a week. Well before I started to write this review, I discovered myself enjoying the record more and more. It’s definitely not a record I can say I love, and I’ll probably put it on my shelf to collect dust relatively soon, but there is something about this schizophrenic orchestration of music that has my attention currently. It’s 100% original and that’s a hard find these days. It’s a style of music that you definitely have to listen to, to see if you have the palate for it. Describing it and saying whether I like it or not won’t give you the answer. I also feel that this is something that everyone should listen to atleast once, just to experience it. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll atleast get a laugh out of it. Ask my wife.