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Album review

The Hydrothermal Vents 

Secrets of the Deep!

added: 26 Jun 2014 // release date: 5 Jul 2014 // label:
reviewer: Daniel Davidson-Amadi

The Hydrothermal Vents - Secrets of the Deep! - Printable version
If hydrothermal vents are defined as deep-sea openings that erupt with super-heated chemically rich water from within the earth’s crust, then the Montreal-based dance-rock duo, The Hydrothermal Vents, are an aural embodiment of the curiousness and chemistry of this explosive natural phenomenon. Completely organic, effervescent and wistful, the inventively exploratory nine-track album, ‘Secrets of the Deep!’ is bandmates John Tielli and Tessa Kautzman’s melodic think-tank, one in which they experiment with the logistics of composition and traditional post-punk musicianship to catch the listener off guard, splashing you in “chemical rich” awesomeness!

There is initially a sense – at least for fans of the genre - that what you are listening to is plagiaristic of bands like The Pixies and The Talking Heads, yet one can’t quite figure out which songs ‘Secrets of the Deep!’ evoke. That’s because the album utilises a tried and trusted blueprint but makes several creative adjustments making it both traditional and refreshingly contemporary.

‘Secrets of the Deep!’ thrives on its mysticism, displaying a quite eerie iridescent mood through layers and layers of wafting synths, impulsive guitar modulations and abstruse lyricism moaned and howled tunefully by the two capable harmonisers, rather than sang with belting forcefulness. They test the limits of the vocal abilities though, flittering out and in of tessitura erratically to exhibit the broad spectrum of their range with a degree of success. But they’re also not afraid to let the music do the talking either as they rock the funk out, most notably on the predominantly instrumental ‘Out of Their Cages’ and ‘Do the Vent’.

The vibrancy of the album remains at a constantly high level, delivering a refined sound that is tribute to the years Tielli and Kautzman have honed their craft. ‘Secrets of the Deep!’ is a fantastical soundscape of thought-provoking music that doesn’t skimp on originality and entertainment value. The Hydrothermal Vents have exploded onto the scene propelling a series of rough-edged delights to the surface from a bed that is steadily becoming more lifeless by the year.


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3 stars

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