Hip Your Ears to Hip to Death

Despite the handicap of having one of the worst names in the Atlanta music scene, Hip to Death are capable of crunching out some enormously formidable sunglasses-at-night post-punk. Their new album, TMI America (CD, LP and digital via their Die Indy label), is a potent crush of throbbing, ominous bass jabs, oppressive drums and swarms of squalling guitars that sound like they’re being electrocuted. John Breedlove’s dark, detached vocals reverberate as if bellowing out of a cave in the jagged furrows of the Matterhorn. Hints of Richard Butler, Peter Murphy, Mark Burgess and Jaz Coleman emerge out of his maw at times, complete with raspy, dour, theatrically demonic English accent.

I don’t believe that John (guitars, vocals), his wife Kasey (guitars, vocals) or brother James (guitars) hail from the British isles, but in this case it hardly matters, because combined with bassist Todd Caras and drummer Mike Pazdzinski their mutual mojo merges to generate a disorienting fluster of murky perfection. Bands like this always need a thick shroud of fog and seizure lights brightly flashing through the shadows to get the full effect – and should never perform in bright daylight! – but until that takes place TMI America (mixed and mastered by the March Violets’ Tom Ashton, who is quite the busy little goth-rocker these days) is abundantly sufficient.

Photo by Daniel Vasquez.