This review is for the 2009 self-titled release from The Hectic. For those unfamiliar with this band and their Texas Industrial Alt-Metal ways, they have conveniently provided a very descriptive definition on the inside J-card that I believe to be accurate. I’ll let you buy the CD yourself to learn it. Support Texas Metal! Ha!
The most refreshing aspect of this band would have to be the hypnotic sounds emanating from DJ Hard Core’s arsenal of turntables and samples, coupled with Marilyn Tovy’s cello (yes, I said there’s a cello in a metal band). Those two things create a truly unique aural assault almost unheard of in Texas Metal. Droning vocals are shared by both Ronnie Tinsley and Chris Owen, as well as some of the guitar work. A third guitar is brutally crunched by the hands of Kevin Reed. Rounding things out, the tight little stutter-steps of rhythm in many of the songs on this album are feverishly provided by Danny Acker and Ken Pride on bass and drums, respectively.
All in all, this album is a totally decent freshman effort put forth by these guys. A few mistakes (if you really even wanna call them that) were heard in the recording… some things I would’ve stopped and done over. But, again, it’s pretty minor stuff… With infectious grooves laid down by the drums on tracks like “Beat In Your Head” and “Circa Now,” and darkly shaded lyrical content, the listener is slowly moved through a world of hate and pain. If you like your lyrics on the edge of anger with a side of bloody gore, The Hectic is where it’s at.
One of the top picks from this collection is definitely “Automatic Freedom.” If its anthem-like chorus does not have you screaming the lines while fist-pumping high in the air, you really should check your pulse. My favorite track is easily “24/7.” Its down-home Texas blues groove is created by some great dual-guitar parts and a perfect rhythmic meter from the vocals working harmoniously together. This track is the strongest and also doubles as the band’s anthem.
Something I look for when reviewing an album is the band’s versatility. Does every song sound alike? Are each band member’s talents highlighted well in different songs? The Hectic pulls this off very well as each song arguably focuses on each member, complete with an intricate little cello solo on “Kjöt Bolti.”
Another thing I look closely for is genre-crossing. If you’re going to do that, in my book, you should give it all up and go play in a variety cover band. Or just join a second band… While coming dangerously close to this, the songs “No Regret” and “December” are strong ballads flirting with other genres, but still keep true to the band’s musical ambidextrousness.
Ultimately, this is a CD riddled with sounds influenced by an assortment of eclectic rock & metal artists typical of Manson, NIN, and maybe even a little DJ Jazzy Jeff solely because I thought it was funny to add that in there. Industrial Alt-Metal from The Hectic will have your ass on the dance floor looking like a rock god as you attempt to bang your head while doing the running man. And that’s right where we want you…