Sometimes the hardest part about sounding intense is knowing when to back off and when to step the music up a notch. Sometimes the notes that aren’t played are even more powerful than the ones that are. Hose.Got.Cable, a little known but highly respected group that existed in Richmond from 1992-1995, were masters of this skill.
Sometimes lumped in as a proto-mathcore band, Hose.Got.Cable were responsible for bringing new types of rhythms into punk. On their retrospective disc, Discography 1992-1995, the group collects their first 7’’, their Doubt 7’’, their LP, and some tracks from compilations. Throughout the disc is a blatant disregard for standard song structure, which surely is as refreshing now as it was in the mid-`90s. Sometimes the band ends a song at a seemingly early juncture, leaving your ears about three seconds past the track change. And sometimes one wonders, why didn’t the band end a particular song 40 seconds or so earlier. But, this isn’t a bad thing. To the contrary, these strange configurations allow contemplations such as “why did they do that here” or “I think this song could have had three times as many sections!” These puzzles, which were definitely created from deft skill and a highly attuned ear, afford the discography multiple listens with each spin adding new questions.
Sure, these guys could make one heck of a racket. When they smash it up, boy, do they smash up! But then again, so can a thousands other bands. Where Hose.Got.Cable truly excels is their ability to back off at just the right time, and sometimes seemingly just the wrong time, and let smoother and gentler sounds take over. But these smooth passages are even more dangerous than their nasty ones, because it's unclear just when they will strike back with a pummeling onslaught of highly technical, but sloppy, thrashing guitar and screaming. Just like Black Sabbath’s “Fluff” on Master of Reality, HGC’s The Smallest Living Thing” by itself would seem quite innocuous, but in context with the rest of the album it is truly creepy. A room full of serial killers becomes ten times as disturbing when there’s a little girl siting calmly in the center of the room.
HGC’s retrospective shows some true insight and daringness. The thumping bass, whizzing guitar, smashing drums and almost vomit-ish vocals combine to make one hell of a brain-basher. But while their peers were crushing jams 24/7, Hose.Got.Cable knew when to back off and let your brain add to the intensity. And somehow, this made them even more furious than their peers.