Hanin Elias CD review [Cochon/Fatal]

Music Reviews
Hanin Elias CD review [Cochon/Fatal]
Apr 26, 2005, 04:48


Do revolutionaries ever really surrender to the facts of life and age? Or do they just transpose their marrow-churning thirst for political change onto more intimate and personal lusts? Ask Le Tigre's Kathleen Hanna… or, for that matter, Hanin Elias. The latter, of course, used to shriek about grrrl-fueled revolutions during her days with Berlin-nuking rave-punx Atari Teenage Riot—but now, like Hanna, Elias has dropped the boxing stance and is more excited to dance with (and/or fuck) her comrades than toss molotovs at the cops. This makes Future Noir a better sex album than a samizdat call to arms.

“Untouchable” and “After All” start the record with Elias wooing you like a James M. Cain trouble doll: Her nasal, dentist-drill screeches of old are now replaced by wet, throaty croons set to electro-thump beats and spidery pianos, her black-mascara tales of woe like a secret love trap designed to ensnare and entangle. “City Lights” is a crotch-rubbing seduction of a less subtle sort, with Elias moaning about her “obvious” motives (e.g., “I wanna feel well-done, penetrated, filled, pervaded”) while moist synthesizers drip from the walls. And “In My Room” retreats into a thick paste of isolation, leaving us dangerously alone with Elias in her lair, her voice a whisper draped in a pulsating net of synth-bass throbs. This, however, is not to say Elias has abandoned her wider social causes entirely: Hardbeat anthems like “War” and “Fight Together” are surely aggressive and banging enough to send some new recruits scrambling to sign up for Elias' insolent post-techno insurgency. It's just that Elias has recast herself as an arachnid seductress for most of Future Noir's sultry cinema dream. [Cochon/Fatal]

-J Graham

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