Apartment 26 is an English band that plays a confused melange of heavy metal,
rap, techno, industrial and hardcore.
Granitic guitar riffs (Jon Greasley) and solid rhythm
(Louis Cruden on bass, veteran Kevin Temple on drums)
and one of the least inventive singers in memory
makes them one of the most competent bands of the derivative post-grunge
A.C. Huckvale's keyboards and programming rescues
The band debuted with a five-song EP, Within (1999). Three of those songs
were reprised for the full-length Hallucinating (Hollywood, 2000):
The brutal, hip-hop and metal crossover of Apt. 26,
Slicedbeats and Question of Reality.
The new songs do not fare much better. Backwards and
Hallucinating are representative of their faux pop-metal,
a super-grunge sound built around a catchy tune which is then dynamited
by pounding drums and sharp guitars.
This kind of song construction works best
when the feverish, spasmodic playing of the rock trio is matched by the noisy,
abrasive counterpoint of the electronics, as in the closing Death.
Nine Inch Nails' influence is too obvious in tracks like Doing It Anyway,
but Bruised manages to improve over the model, with a stance
halfway between explosive and hypnotic.
Granted, the band tries very hard to coin a personal style, for example with
the psychedelic, tribal rap-metal of Keep You.
Techno ecstasy and hardcore fury intersect and breed, pop melody and industrial
dissonance cross-pollinate. Snippets of drum'n'bass seep everywhere.
But in the end one is left with the impression that this is a band still in
search of an identity.
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