Today, I can add one more band to the already massive list of countrymen-to-keep-an-eye-on. Their name is This Can Hurt. It's a duo, live aided by two more musicians. 'When Nothing Matters' is their debut full-length, one that might set the Belgian rock scene ablaze again.
The music is a blend of electronic soundscapes and alternative rock, perhaps best described as a mix between Massive Attack and Nine Inch Nails. At least, that's what the band claims. Personally, I'd like to add a few more bands to the mix, including Deftones, Radiohead, Placebo, Muse, Editors,... So yes, you can easily classify this as alternative rock, laced with electronics and a gritty atmosphere.
The album opens with 'If You Go', a downtempo blend between blues, trip hop and grunge. This song immediately sets the tone for the entire album. There is a lot of emotion to be found, not only in this song but throughout the whole thing. 'Runaway' continues this immersive downtempo approach and quickly becomes one of my favorite tracks. 'Nothing Matters' seems to delve even deeper into the dark electronic eighties and thus another favorite for me.
But before you think it's all slow and downtempo, there are a few excellent rock songs to be found here. My favorite in that aspect is the uplifting post-punker 'Colder'. I absolutely love the drums on this one. they somehow remind me of Sisters Of Mercy, simply ramming away while the rest of the band takes care of melody and harmony. 'Mindblower' also reeks of the glorious eighties and adds a touch of noise to the whole thing.
'Bleed' is another intensely rocking highlight, driving on a contagious guitar riff. Finally, 'Codex' delivers some dark industrial electronic music, seemingly inspired by the EBM scene. So yes, this is quite a varied album, one that I recommend to all alternative rockers out there. This is another example of Belgium's talent, unique but familiar and always intriguing. I'd like to see this live one day, preferably very soon...