Apartment 26 : Hallucinating

Their moody mix of industrial techno, drum'n'bass and scabrous metal guitars does have its moments.

Horrific as growing up in Leamington Spa no doubt is, Apartment 26 struggle to turn

their frustration into a genuinely arresting howl on this, their

debut album.

Fronted by Biff ‘son of Geezer’ Butler, their moody mix of industrial techno, drum’n’bass and scabrous metal guitars does have its moments. At opposite ends of the spectrum, ‘Backwards’ – wherein their much-vaunted interweaving of sequenced and live drums creates a loose caboose of a tune with a

fine grunge chorus – and ‘Hallucinating’ (a staccato battering) display some evidence of craft and power. However, much

of the album, possibly due to their ensemble songwriting, sounds grumpy but slick, polite when you want them to rip off your head and shit down your neck.

Lyrically we’re in familiar territory; confused/confusing and unlovely couplets – “Again, again, baby bitch socialist/ Synchronize the synthesis, believe in your existence/I hate you, but could not change you so” – jarring together in a dark stew of alienation, guilt and swearing. Naturally, there’s a track called ‘The Fear’. And much that makes you wonder, rather sadly, at the growing influence of nu-metal’s testosterone-soaked, existential-angst schtick.

Ultimately though, it comes

down to one thing: does it rock or not? And judged against those working on the fringes of cathartic, energising noise, be it Slipknot

or DJ Scud, ‘Hallucinating’ is

tame stuff.

Tony Naylor