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Hadouken! - Every Weekend (Review)

Hadouken!, Every Weekend

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

HADOUKEN!‘S position at the forefront of the UK bass scene doesn’t look under threat any time soon judging by third album, Every Weekend, which continues to strive to drag the medium into the mainstream.

But while there are a handful of good tracks, some of the band’s harder drum ‘n’ bass tendencies threaten to drag it down and keep it for the purists only.

Recorded in various locations, Every Weekend is undoubtedly designed as the type of mission statement that aspires to becoming the go-to weekend anthem for countless bass and dance fans.

As such, it also features production contributions from the most cutting edge and successful names in modern bass music, including Noisia, Loadstar, Aeph, Blokhead and Drumsound & Bassline Smith.

But while it straddles several genres – from bass to mainstream dance to pop – it’s arguably at its most accessible when keeping things radio friendly, as opposed to hard and in your face.

Hence, tracks like Levitate shine with their high energy mix of appealing beats, euphoric synths and choruses, while Bliss Out has one of the most anthemic, chant-along choruses that is destined to become a soundtrack moment for several sports showreels.

Admittedly, Bliss Out is also a good example of the best and worst of Hadouken! in that it delivers a pulsating chorus full of pop values, only to slide back into harder, almost grime like bass during its verses, when it’s less appealing.

But then they like playing around with their sound. As One opens in epic style, with a sky-scraping dance synth under-pinning it, before dropping in a head-throbbing bass section that, again, may well turn off some listeners, while Parasite, conversely, offers next to nothing to recommend it and is loud, obnoxious, frenzied and ugly.

It’s followed by another of those split personality moments, Bad Signal, which drops a fun sample of Kim Wilde’s You Just Keep Me Hanging On but also weaves in some more brutish bass elements and a central vocal that’s distinctly unappealing.

The same can be said for Stop Time, while Spill Your Guts is a firm turn-off moment.

But if you like dance comedown tracks, then The Comedown is tailor-made for the morning after the club night before chilling on Ibiza-style beaches, possibly watching the sun rise.

Daylight, which also features contributions from Drumsound and Bassline Smith, is a decent anthemic moment that screams out future single.

Hence, Hadouken! do more than enough to maintain their status among their signature followers. But it’s of limited appeal beyond that.

Download picks: Levitate, Bliss Out, The Comedown

Track listing:

  1. The Vortex
  2. Levitate
  3. Bliss Out
  4. As One
  5. Parasite
  6. Bad Signal
  7. Stop Time
  8. Spill Your Guts
  9. The Comedown
  10. Daylight
  11. Mecha Love
  12. Oxygen