Taking their name from Ryu’s power-attack from the popular arcade game Street Fighter 2, Hadouken! are a five-piece from Leeds in the UK that are changing the face of indie music as we know it. Blending that traditional indie sound with influences a wide and varying as dub-step, hip-hop and grime into what many are calling grindie, these genre-hopping, taste bud-pooping Brits are ready to shake things up down-under.
The album opens with “Get Smashed Gate Crash”, as the band urge us to “get this party started” as fast-paced bass-heavy synths let loose a hook of monumental proportions, as vocalist James Smith treats listeners to his unusual indie-hop style. Lead single “That Boy That Girl” is next up, with Smith again delivering interesting vocal lines, while the rest of the band construct a twisted masterpiece fusing their trademark grimy-beats and fluro-pop sensibilities. Other highlights on the album include “Declaration Of War”, “Crank It Up” and “Liquid Lives”, all of which are strong examples of their unique musical direction.
The album’s lyrical content deals with binge drinking, youth culture, the commercial appropriation of underground music, relationships and debt, all of which are explored through Smith’s oddly enrapturing delivery.
While they’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, Hadouken! are undoubtedly one of the most interesting acts to emerge this year. If you’re getting tired of the same old indie-nonsense, give this a try, it’s mad decent.