It didn't take long for punk's initial threat to wear off. Within the span of a couple years, punk went from breaking every boundary and taboo to becoming just another boy's club, playing revved up Chuck Berry riffs for goony meathead dudes in pyramid studs and spray-painted fins. All of the edgy experimentalism, artful incorporation of different, non-western or non-rock musics and any sort of racial, gender or sexual equality was lost to the ages. Punk rock just became rock and one of our greatest revolutions was utterly defanged.
If punk Is dead as Crass so eloquently put it post-punk would be the rabid reanimated corpse, brought to spitting, hissing, sparking, frothing, twitching life. Post-punk brought back the original antagonism and arty, avant-garde boundary pushing of punk, but injecting it with brains and actual musical skill. Punk's anti-establishmentarianism is laced with speed and paranoia, dipping rock riffs in liquid nitrogen to create a truly dark, damaged psychedelia.
Alpha Hopper is a badass post-punk quartet from the heart of the rustbelt, Buffalo, NY. Alpha Hopper delivers post-punk's traditional brittle, razor-like guitars and powerful, polyrhythmic beats with riot grrrl vocals from singer Irene Rekhviashvili, and gives it a meaty metallic undercurrent. It's muscular without becoming macho, becoming a healthy hybrid that eliminates the weaknesses of each genre and emphasizing its strengths.
Alpha Hopper's Last Chance Power Drive comes on like a bump of speed with "Exploding Money" and never relents, over the span of 12 short, storming bursts of energy and aggression. Guitars ring out like a bad acid trip, while the rhythm section is as unrelenting as the turning gears of some monolithic factory. Odd tonalities and weird time signatures come and go, giving Last Chance Power Drive a weird, woozy, sometimes sickly feeling, like the third day of a sleepless binge.
The combination of metal and post-punk is a truly powerful combo, helping to remove the less-than-awesome aspects of each. Metal's sometimes misogyny is counterbalanced with Alpha Hopper's riot grrrl vibes, with Irene Rekhviashvili shrieking like some undead Valkyrie. Alpha Hopper neutralizes punk's intentional primitivism, bringing actual skill and chops to the table. It's a powerful hybrid, indeed, that just gets better and better with each listen.
For fans of early Sonic Youth, classic riot grrrl like Bikini Kill, or art-damaged post-punk like Gang Of Four or Mars, get this album immediately!
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