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Out Hud: “Let us Never Speak of it Again”

by Jason Jenkins

A trillion watts. They mention it more than once, so I’m guessing that’s what electro-rock collective, Out Hud, wants to get their hands on. They could certainly put it to use. Their nearly indescribable 2002 LP, “S.T.R.E.E.T.D.A.D.,” was a gargantuan, Frankenstein-like creature composed of punk, post-rock, dub and electronica, all sewn together with high-voltage cable. It was easy to see their connection to frenetic dance-punk outfit !!!, with whom they share three members, but now the once-instrumental Out Hud are adding vocals, and a few new creative sparks of their own.

For this month’s release, “Let us Never Speak of it Again,” the New York quintet swagger into pop territory, but only just. Cellist, Molly Schinct, trades her bow for a mike on six of the album’s 10 tracks, her child-like voice hovering above the din like a feather over a circular saw. Her sing-songy lyrics aren’t intended for meaning as much as for their interplay with the bass slaps and processed beats barreling past. On the single, “One Life to Leave,” an ’80s techno beat collides with a punk-funk bass line. Then Schinct purrs “Try on me/Test me” just before the song crashes into an echo chamber lit by mirror balls.

It’s intoxicating stuff, and frequently more powerful than their electro-instrumental numbers. That is, except for the 12-minute bombast of the intriguingly titled “Dear Mr. Bush, There are Over 100 Words for Sh*t and Only 1 for Music. F**k You. Out Hud.” It may shock, but it’s built to awe.