Hush - Review
This group currently hails from Spain and is composed of J. Catala and A. Avalos. When I first heard samples from this band I was impressed with the gothic rock roots that comes out in their music. So now I have their latest album in my hands and in my CD player listening to this classic goth sound. The album features thirteen tracks, including two "bonus" pieces, which I'm not sure what that really means, unless there's another version of the album somewhere that doesn't include these tracks. Whatever the case may be, there is a lot of nice material on this disc.
As you listen to this album, I think you can pick up bits and pieces here and there that throw back to The Cure, Sisters of Mercy and a little bit of Clan of Xymox. The intro to the first track "Wherever you are" is a definite reminder of some early and great guitar from The Cure, this plucked guitar is evident throughout many tracks and is a nice touch to an otherwise dark, yet romantic and beautiful soundscape wrought through guitar, a touch of synths and anguished vocals. The mentioned anguish and beauty comes out in full force on "Alive Again" through the more prominent use of synthesized strings and the grief-filled vocals. Other pieces follow close along these lines and help to form a solid core feeling for the album. "So Wrong" brings out some incredible emotion through over-the-top anguished layered vocals. Later on "To Live Forever", the powerful bass guitar moving along at this pace is an excellent and key ingredient to this genre.
The true club-friendly gothic rock sound comes out more forcefully in the title track "Hush" with a driving beat with a nice powerful snare to go with the heavy bass along with some great grinding guitars. "Take Me Away" drives along in similar fashion, though the percussion and synths on this piece seems to really come out as synthetic and don't seem to mix all that well with the rest of the disc. Though most of the album moves along in something of a mid-tempo fashion, these occasional moving pieces are nice additions to the disc. However, for me the two bonus pieces along with the aforementioned tracks are really the highlight to the album. The addition of guest female vocals on "Cruces" is a great touch, though they're quite subdued and hard to hear. Singing them in spanish is a nice touch as well. This and the final track "Pet Cementary" both have a quick pace and some solid goth rock attributes for a nice ending to the disc.
My only problem with this album is with the overall quality of the mixing and recording. Everything seems like tone is turned way down with the vocals so subdued you can barely hear them above the music, especially the bass as it seems to be up way too high. On a nice stereo with some power and overall quality, this bass comes out very powerful and loud, but then you can't hear the vocals at all. On a cheaper, smaller stereo it sounds distorted because of the overpowering bass and music, though you can then hear the vocals somewhat. The music itself is good, though the quality of some of the synths and drums used come out sounding on the "cheap" side. So, maybe with some work on production this would be an excellent album, as it is, the music and contents are great, the quality is lacking, but still a good listen.