Hypophora - Douse | Album Review

When asked to cite the main hot spots of musical inventiveness within the UK, it’s likely that most respondents would name a range of major cities. After all, the greater the population an area has, the more likely an act would originate from there and the bigger the respective scene. However, originality and innovation can be found anywhere. Hailing from the sleepy coastal region of Cornwall, Hypophora have been electrifying the South West scene for a number of years.

Intermixing post-hardcore aesthetics with youthful mathcore intricacies, the group have been springing up the rungs of the scene for a number of years now, with many a punter and publication, including ours, citing that their impeding full-length debut would be the catalyst for their wide-reaching success. A lofty claim that’s been uttered many a time, sure.

However, Douse, the debut in question, is undoubtedly set to catapult this young band into the national spotlight.

Opening with the introduction of ‘Mecurial’ prior to indulging into the previously released infectious pop sensibilities of ‘Behave’, there is a tangible level of sheen on such content that lifts them above their respective peers. However, ‘Sorcerers’ is truly where Douse ignites. With it’s respective math rock motifs and jarring attitude, the track truly stands a mission statement no just for the release, but for the group themselves. Intermingling contemporary barrages of sonic challenge coexist perfectly with the primal infectious danceable melodies and composure.

Whilst the group constantly flirt with a range of aesthetics, genres and attitudes within their release, they never yet lie dominant within a certain sensibility. This is a group who have forged a sound that can’t necessarily be tied to single movement, a sound that’ the result of a plethora of influences tamed into a fresh yet digestible sound. There’s a level of familiarity within this release, but one that lies within waves of homegrown freshness and unpredictably. Whilst such claims of unpredictability and math rock may conjure images of spasmodic and wild sonic carnage, there’s no such feral eccentrics found within. In contrast, for the most part, Douse glistens with elegance and smoothness, with the soaring vocal talents of Kate McConnel coasting above the calculated and viscous structures present.

Truly, Douse is the product of carefree and formulated experimentation. Whereas a plethora of bands forge work with the purpose of fitting within a certain scene or movement, it feels such considerations were absent during the crafting of this release. As the refined sludge of ‘Etiolate’ filters into the tonal grunge of ‘Chemical X’, there’s no heavy air of conformity or an urgent need to fit into established scenes. Despite the indirect tonal shifts within Douse, the record ebbs and flows without ever straying from the concrete foundation of innovation, one marring withheld rock aggression with intricate and delicate eccentrics.

Douse strays from the path of the conformity in alternative music and stands fearless, not caring what metaphysical file listeners may class it as. Hypophora don’t just revel in artistic innovation, they posses the charisma and articulation to present such ideals perfectly. A fantastic debut that paves the way for what is set to be a blossoming and fruitful career.

Score: 8/10

Douse is out now via Easy Action/Zen Ten Records