Electra2000 by Hum

"Serenity stomped flat" is perhaps the best way I can put the first two minutes of Hum's 1993 Electra2000. The peaceful chime of the guitars and slowly wandering bassline give way to industrial drums and riffing that that borders on metal. "He don't need a word from this fucking tease," singer Matt Talbott lays out in no uncertain terms before positing what the titular Iron Clad Lou really needs (namely, some space and a lotta trees). A lot of 90s bands used Pixies dynamics, but Hum took them to a logical extreme on their debut outing: gently flowing guitars and trash compactor drums. Agonized shrieks and tender consolations. Rage, then comfort.

Hum's music would grow more detailed and restrained over the course of their career, but Electra2000 sees them at their absolute heaviest. Indeed, it might be a little too much for some ("Scraper" is particularly fucking insane), and the vocals are, though they've never been Hum's strong point, especially flat and scratchy here. Electra2000 does care though; "Shovel"'s pretty sweet when the screams cease and the chorus hits, "Firehead" pines for motherly affection, and "Double Dip" is that shoulder to cry on (and all fairly good songs to boot). It's unrefined, but Electra2000 certainly has a heart somewhere in all that rage—sorta like me.


Essential: "Iron Clad Lou", "Scraper", "Double Dip"
Quintessential: "Shovel"
Non-essential: "Diffuse"

Rating: Great
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