As I mentioned in a recent news post, I have joined the staff of Heavy Blog is Heavy and my first article has been posted over there as I review “VS,” the collaborative album between FacexHugger and DREDDD.
You can read the review right here!
If “Chasing Replicants” was FacexHugger‘s “Alien,” then his recently released self-titled follow-up EP is certainly his “Aliens.” By this I mean that, while “Chasing Replicants” was mostly dark, brooding, and not unlike a dread-filled horror movie, this EP is more akin to an action movie while still retaining elements of the original. Some of the songs are more upbeat, fast paced, and in your face while others are that familiar darksynth.
The first couple songs, “Savage Streets” and “Chopping Mall” (one of my favorite horror films), are the aforementioned more upbeat tracks on this release in comparison to what FacexHugger has done before. “Savage Streets,” in particular, has modulated vocal-like work that pairs nicely with a head-bopping beat, while “Chopping Mall” brings some more intensity with the fast paced synth work.
“The X is Silent” (a nice little wink to his own name) is, to me, the turning point of this release when we dip back down into the more darker material and is honestly my favorite track on the EP. While it is indeed a little bit darker than the previous two songs, even though starting off on equal footing in terms of that trademark intensity, it ends on such a cosmically haunting note that it legit sent shivers down my spine. That alone is why it’s my favorite track on here.
“LV-426” (this did get released on Alien day!) has a lot in common with “Savage Streets,” using that same sort of modulated vocal-like work, but here it’s a bit more sinister; almost like MU/TH/UR from the Nostromo made a synthwave song. The final track is a remix of “Replicant” from his first release and here, much like a few of the prior songs, it lends itself to a little bit of an more upbeat tone while still having that sense of underlying dread. This release as a whole is a great taste of the range FaceXHugger has and is a constant and pleasant surprise as I look forward to what’s next.
That said, this release is a must own and considering that it’s FREE you have no excuse, but I do implore you to still throw at least a buck or two towards your purchase (I did!) because these songs are fantastic and deserve any and all support you can give. Plus, don’t forget about the shirt too!
It started off as a joke but, the more I gave it thought, I knew it had to actually be done: synthwave inspired foods! The fact of the matter is that, when I’m not busy writing, my other big hobby is cooking. I love looking up recipes, trying out dishes, and getting creative in the kitchen with my own culinary designs. Therefore, not unlike ingredients themselves, I figured I’d combine two of my favorite things together into one awesome feast for the eyes, ears, and of course the mouth! So, let’s get started, shall we? I’m already hungry!
I will never be one to put words into the mouths of others. I can only tell you what thoughts arise in my own mind upon hearing an album for the first time. That said, listening to these songs makes me think I am listening to some long lost tracks from a science fiction or horror movie soundtrack of the past. I suppose that’s the point, due to the not-so-subtle nods in the song titles, as well as the name of the artist and the album itself; especially that album art!
Seriously, how awesome is that cover? It honestly gave me some real 80’s heavy metal vibes, which I appreciate. I love it so much that I plan to buy it on a t-shirt!
Anyway, back to the music: the album kicks off with “Tears in Rain,” which though named for a pivotal scene in BladeRunner actually gave me vibes of Metroid. It’s somewhat similar to the final song, “Colony,” which gave me vibes of DooM. Could there be a little hint of chiptunes hidden in the code of this album or am I just hearing things? Either way, that’s what I absolutely love about this album: the atmosphere. It makes me feel like I’m adrift in space, a sense of dread, like there’s no hope left and the distress signal is lost.
That is not a negative thing, that’s a good thing, because as I said before it reminds me of some of the great soundtracks of the past from films like Alien, Darkstar, and others. We continue our drift through space with the track “Replicant,” which starts off with a nice rise into a crescendo and a beat that keeps hitting, followed by “Off-World,” a bit more faster paced and electronic affair, before coming to “Glitters in the Dark” that has such a haunting tone to the point where it just might be my favorite of all the tracks on this album.
Such a glowing endorsement of that one track is by no means a free pass on the rest of the album, because each song is amazing in it’s own way; it was hard to pick just one favorite! I won’t go into further detail on each one, as I implore you to simply listen to them yourself, because I highly recommend the album as a whole. As someone that loves synths, sci-fi, and horror, this release gets my seal of approval and can’t wait to hear what comes next!