The Huguenots - Discography (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Huguenots

Discography (2007)

Hydra Head

The Huguenots may not have proven to be a vital part of 1990s hardcore and punk for their short-lived duration, but some of the bands they went on to form and/or join (Converge, Piebald, the Explosion) certainly ended up making their mark. For all the noise and discordance of their off-kilter sound, they kept an occasionally goofy candor that also spoke highly of their seeming influences (mid-`80s noisy hardcore, Born Against, early `90s Gravity bands). As the title shows, Discography collects all the band's recorded material onto one convenient disc spanning 38 minutes.

As credit for each instrument seems to be untaken and difficult to research, we'll have to assume Matt Oates (eventually of the Never Never and Angels of Meth) held the vocal responsibility here. Despite his bandmates' harsh playing, his voice, while purposely out of key and often indecipherable, rarely rises above a frenetic shout. That goes a long way in keeping the Huguenots listenable, as any sort of piercing scream being layered here could easily ruin things.

Standout moments are abound for a band who only managed to write and record so many songs in their time. The middle of the disc marks a moment in the band's era when they were heavily indebted to proto-screamo acts like Clikatat Ikatowi and Angel Hair; check out the prolonged, octave-laden outro of "Young Pretender" and the raw urgency of "10 Watt Bulb." However, other songs display different natures; "A Horde of Bees" and "Trance Like," the latter with its section of jazzy trumpet and unsettling, rhythmic spoken word, gives clear nods to the Nation of Ulysses.

Discography is a surprisingly enjoyable and challenging release that proves the Boston area was full of proficient players long before they made headlines on labels like Equal Vision, Big Wheel Recreation and even Virgin...and in a time warp of sorts, Hydra Head.

Young Pretender
Send It Airmail (demo version)