Hackmonocut hails from Linz, Austria and has been a solo-act since its inception in 2012. Basically, it's a man and his guitar but there are other instruments used on this album as well. The basics of guitars, drums, bass, piano and orchestral arrangements are all present, making this a decent piece of music. Lyrics include dark humour, love stories and social criticism. When I read that, I got interested immediately and I was right to do so. This is a splendid rock noir album, but let's go over the songs.
The album opens with 'We Better Look Away', a strong rocker which reminds me a bit of bands like The Pixies or Sonic Youth. This recipe is often repeated, mainly in great songs like 'Used Love' and 'Leech'. Yet, Hackmonocut combines those elements with a strong story writing ability, a bit similar to people like Nick Cave. Especially the vocal lines remind me of the God of rock noir, making them a very welcome addition to my music collection.
If we're talking about Nick Cave, we have to talk about ballads as well. And that's where Hackmonocut is at his best. 'Now' shows a bit of that quality but it's in songs like 'The Ripper', loaded with strings, and the piano driven 'Scarlet' that the album reaches highlights. These are beautiful songs, filled with emotion and the deep, raspy vocals which add a lot of melancholy to the whole. Finally, 'Love Letter' quickly becomes the strongest ballad on this record, definitely inspired by mr. Cave.
'Dead Born Sister' differs a bit from the other songs by incorporating what seems like electronic percussion and nudging a bit toward the trip-hop scene. You know, Johnny Cash meets Massive Attack or something like that. The album closes with the dubby country song 'Days Of Roses' which also has a dark rock edge, a strange combination that works quite well, I might add.
I'm not sure how Hachmonocut does this thing live, perhaps with a band of friends. However, I do know that I really want to see this on stage. This could make up for a solid performance, often causing a dark grin on the faces of the audience members but always in this gloomy atmosphere. In all, this really is an interesting album, highly recommended for every melancholic, raw pop-rock fan out there.