Wednesday, August 29, 2007


You can almost write the headlines now: “Hadouken! In ‘Not Rubbish’ Shock”. If one band has polarised the music press over the past twelve months, it is this lot. Treated to their wares on disc, they become the band you love to hate, a simple question of whether you can stand their melding of rock and rap and, if so, for how long. It seems that it is acceptable for the likes of Linkin Park to nick from the streets of LA, but unacceptable for James Smith and co to take the grime out of London.

On the other hand, it has to be said that Hadouken! are a much better act when Smith sings, rather than rapping. He can get away with it on occasion, but even this convert would have to admit that a full 40 minutes of it would be very wearing. Indeed, sub-Streets numbers like “Tuning In” already sound tired. Instead, it is the new songs like “Declaration” that really stand out, both because Smith has a surprisingly good voice and because they retain all of the energy and enthusiasm of the old numbers, nothing being sacrificed in the move forward. I am, it must be said, pleasantly surprised.


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