Hybrid Freak Division - Non Conformative

8 songs
33:46 minutes
***** ***


It really takes you back to the Seventies, listening to Hybrid Freak Division, but in a good way. Non Conformative, their debut album, portrays this Swedish band as a typical power trio, but once you start listening to their music, you feel like eating a stew where the cook became manic and threw everything possible in the pot.

The opener Riot starts out in a very progressive way, before the album flows into fantastically played instrumental fusion rock. Normally this is a music I don't like too much, but HFD go at it with such a fierce energy that you just have to like it. Influenced by jazz legends like Jaco Pastorious and John Scofield, with a solid background in heavy metal music, HFD draw a bridge between the jazz rock of the Seventies and the modern progressive bands of today. The drums are playing a very freely structured rhythm, the guitar is soloing most of the time, and the bass guitar understands perfectly to fill the gap between the percussive rhythms and the guitar melodies. It's funky, it's jazzy, and it rocks. About the production, I can say on the one hand that it's sounding very raw and basic, but on the other hand, that's what gives Non Conformative its freshness, its vitality. The sound may not be what you are used to nowadays, but it makes you feel as if this is a live recording, and you are standing right there in the front row.

With a playing time of less than 34 minutes, you might wonder if they shouldn't have stayed a bit longer in the studio to record some more songs, but the 8 tracks that are offered here are well worth it anyway.

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