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Hanin Elias | In Flames | review | digital hardcore | electro | Lollipop

Hanin Elias

In Flames (1995-1999) (DHR)
by Scott Hefflon

Atari Teenage Riot frontwoman, Hanin Elias, releases her first solo record on her own label, Fatal, distributed by ATR's label, Digital Hardcore Recordings. While much of the sound is familiar (everything distorted in the distinctly DHR way), the style is a welcome change. While many extreme music fans like ATR in concept, the use of the same few beats gets annoying, as does the barrage of noise (that often doesn't seem to lead anywhere - call me old-fashioned, I kinda like songs, ya know?), not to mention that all the metal-ish riffs are denied proper context (be it Slayer, Cradle of Filth, whatever). Well, and the lyrics... I realize it's a good thing to distrust/hate the system and the dehumanizing indoctrination we call Western culture, but somehow I don't think the answer is to repeatedly scream "Start a riot!" with cacophonous noise avalanching over the same damn inhuman beat. It just seems kinda juvenile, ya know?

But Hanin Elias has the good taste to broaden her musical scope, often shredding and recreating what sound like show tunes and "When a Man Loves a Woman"-type classics. Now that's a twisted idea to get behind! There's a touch of "straight" dance music here, the usual atonal DHR barrage, plenty of spookily warped spoken-samples, and, ya know, the kind of Skinny Puppy noise collages (screaming and skipping music boxes beaten with hammers) that very few can pull off well. Final analysis? It'll still give ya a headache, but it's more diverse and creative than most other extreme political electrogrr.
(225 Lafayette St. #608 New York, NY 10012)  

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