Swinging wildly between heavy rock and Run The Jewels-esque electronica/rap ‘Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia’ (the ironic term for the fear of long words) has a comforting vinyl fuzz in its vocal production which is constantly set up heavily against warped electronic tones. This binding of old, familiar rock elements and dark and forboding modern clinks and klonks is what makes Hypochristmutreefuzz’s debut album so uncomfortable to listen to at times; you’re not sure of where or when you are at any point and the idea of a beginning, middle and end is thrown completely out of the window.
The Ghent-hailing five piece are an odd bunch. Often known to play in complete darkness with one strobe, Hypochristmutreefuzz certainly have a drive to do what is not expected of them at all. Their production is entirely unique, placing front man Ramses Van den Eede’s screaching vocals as the star of the show.
Moving swiftly around genres, time signatures and moods, ‘Hypop…’ is a ride through a sparkling macarbe tapistry. ‘Chromalikin’ for example begins theatrically, with a haunting and husky vocal introduction, that is then moved onward, up and down by heavily fizzed out guitar tracks. Taking breaks to let Van den Eede’s unhinged vocals take the fore, the track summarises the experience of ‘Hypop…’ perfectly; schizophrenic to the core.
The album includes moments where you can’t seem to get a grip on it’s beat or tempo; they slip through your fingers loosely, holding themselves together seemingly inconceivably. ‘Elephantantiasis’ beat, for example lurches around until suddenly dissipating into a Tales of the Unexpected synth line.
In fact, Roald Dahl’s 19797-1988 TV show may just be the perfect metaphor for ‘Hypop…’; you’re constantly made unsure of each track’s storyline and made to feel uncomfortable in their macabre and unexpected imagery. The aforementioned Run The Jewels and Death Grips elements come to the fore in ‘Clammy Hands’ which sees Van den Eede’s vocals morphing into a rap-influenced flow
‘Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia’ is certainly an experience. For those who want to listen to something a little bit different that will keep you guessing about what you’re about to hear.