LIVE: HIDE – The Shacklewell Arms, 03.10.19

A primal, urgent, gripping performance: Industrial/electronic duo HIDE unleashed a torrent of brutal sound upon their Dalston crowd as part of their co-headline tour with Kontravoid on Thursday night.

Opening with ‘Chainsaw’, taken from the band’s latest album Hell Is Here (released on Dais Records), vocalist Heather Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher performed their aural exorcisms beneath frantic strobe lights.

The lyrics to ‘Chainsaw’ are informed by the street harassment Gabel has received in real life. Dressed like a misogynist’s nightmare with her unhinged grin and heavily blackened eyes & lips; she violently screamed the words “Smile! Bitch!”, throwing their abuse back in to the ether with scathing vitriol.

HIDE’s originality as a band lies in their undermining of patriarchal forces through powerful lyrical statements and abrasive noise. The pair transform fear and vulnerability in to distracting industrial tunes, and the impact of their efforts are best appreciated when seen and heard in a live environment.

Gabel’s frenzied, intense performance style perfectly accompanied Sher’s pulverizing beats. Between songs and blackouts, she removed articles of her clothing and continued to dominate the stage with her jagged movements and inescapable stares. By the time the duo performed ‘Raw Dream’, Gabel’s battle cries were fully fleshed – perfect for an anthem that tackles the imbalance of power.

Despite the brevity of their set, the impact of HIDE’s performance is one that lasts long after the strobes have finished flickering. Their thought-provoking, caustic, vital shows are a much needed antidote to the hellish reality they challenge through their art.

Follow HIDE on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Heather Gabel (HIDE)

Fine Artist and inimitable front woman Heather Gabel forms one half of Chicago-based electronic duo HIDE. Alongside percussionist Seth Sher, the pair create abrasive, industrial sounds and are renowned for their intense live performances. Their new album – Hell Is Here – was released earlier this year via Dais Records, and it seethes with their trademark fury against social injustice.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Heather to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five tracks/albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you catch HIDE live at The Shacklewell Arms (w/ Kontravoid) on 3rd October (event info here).

 

1. CRASS – ‘Reality Asylum’
This track slays in every way. Eve Libertine’s vocal delivery still gives me chills after having been listening to it for 25 years. I love that she isn’t singing. It’s a total assault on Christianity, noise and pure poetry, spat out with palpable contempt. I read that the record plant workers refused to press this track and instead left a three minute silence, so the band released it themselves as a single for 45p – half the going rate for a 45 at the time. I love so much about this band and ‘Reality Asylum’ sort of encapsulates all of the reasons why.

2. ANNIE ANXIETY – ‘Viet Not Mine, El Salvador Yours’
This song is so sad and heavy and scary. It plods and creaks and leers. It has the feel of sea sickness to me, like an inescapable situation you are just coming to grips with realizing is happening. The vocals are fucking wild; they layer, stifled, mocking, taunting, threatening, to create a real terrifying cacophony. The subject matter, violence against women/sexual assault, and makes the line “It’s not forever it’s not forever” sung frantic and childlike, ramping up and repeating, well, it’s especially horrifying. It’s such a powerful song.
Fun fact: Eve Libertine did the artwork for this record and the insert is a collage made of two pages from Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon, which shows the trashed San Francisco hotel room where Fatty Arbuckle raped fellow actress Virginia Rappe to death in 1921.

3. BORN AGAINST – ‘Well Fed Fuck’
I love this band. They were one of the best political bands going when I was growing up. They were so fucking sassy about it though, like way smarter than other hardcore bands or whatever from the 90s in my opinion, they were antagonistic. We’ve covered this song a couple times, it’s sick to sing, there are hardly any lyrics and it repeats, like a mantra, which is a lot like how I write lyrics as well. It’s “are you a good team player, remember your boss is your best friend, remember the bullshit they taught you, kill your head” over and over. It’s really simple but totally exhilarating.

4. INK AND DAGGER – Drive this 7″ wooden dagger through my Philadelphia heart (Album)
I happened across this band by accident in the late 90s. I didn’t know who they were, but they were playing in one room and I was in the bar in the next room. I was like, what the fuck is going on out there, went to see and stood there with my mouth hanging open for the rest of their set. The singer was a total force, later I found out their reputation preceded them, they had infamously egged Hare Krishnas and threw yogurt at Earth Crisis for example, silly stuff in hindsight but it was refreshing to see a band that ripped and brought real energy wearing vampire make up and the shittiest fake blood ever bucking the tired east coast “hardcore tough guy shit” that was so popular back then. I could kind of see myself in them the way they didn’t fit the genre, having been (still am to be honest) someone who feels like they don’t fit in with any particular group of people.

5. Rudimentary Peni – Death Church (Album)
I bought this record in high school solely based on the artwork but quickly sought out all their albums after listening to it. I loved how short and raw the songs were, all direct pointed attacks on societies ails, but the record sounded exceptionally good. I used to always buy this when I saw it at the record store and have multiple copies to just give people who hadn’t heard it because it really made an impression on me. I still would if I ever saw it anymore.
Side note: It was especially cool when Chelsea Wolfe did a Tribute to Rudimentary Peni Covers EP on Southern in 2012.

HIDE UK Tour Dates 2019 
01/10 – UK Bristol Exchange
02/10 – UK Manchester Soup Kitchen
03/10 – UK London The Shacklewell Arms

Photo Credit: Nicola Kuperus

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: HIDE – ‘Raw Dream’

**WARNING: Nudity & graphic content**

Brutal beats, abrasive synths and cutting vocals infiltrate HIDE‘s latest single ‘Raw Dream’, taken from their upcoming album Hell is Here, which is set for release on 23rd August via Dais Records.

Based in Chicago, HIDE are comprised of fine artist Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher. They describe their new single as “an anthem for the rise of the disenfranchised – a long overdue and joyous recalibration of an imbalance of power”. The track is accompanied by a video shot by Eon Mora, and edited by Christopher Michael Hefner and the band.

HIDE are renowned for their electric live performances, and dedication to channeling the voices of those who have been downtrodden, abused, or ignored. Their 2016 EP Black Flame was dedicated to the memory of Reyhana Jabbari – a 27 year old Iranian woman who was hung for allegedly killing someone who tried to rape her. Their 2017 debut album Castration Anxiety addresses issues of power dynamics and representation. Now, with ‘Raw Dream’ and their upcoming second album, the pair continue to transform vulnerability in to more powerful, distracting industrial tunes.

HIDE will be playing at The Shacklewell Arms on 3rd October, and we strongly recommend you grab a ticket before they sell out the venue. Watch ‘Raw Dream’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: HIDE – ‘Chainsaw’

**trigger warning: mention of rape/sexual assault**

Not for the faint-hearted: Chicago-based electronic duo HIDE mesh abrasive, pulverizing synths and aggressive vocals on their latest track ‘Chainsaw’. Taken from their upcoming album Hell is Here, set for release August 23rd via Dais Records, the track’s accompanying video closes with the statement “Rape culture kills” and lists the names of multiple women who were raped and murdered whose pictures feature in the video.

The track’s uncomfortable context is deeply rooted in the band’s own reality; the lyrics to ‘Chainsaw’ are a slew of verbal assaults the duo have received repeatedly on the street, often while in the company of a child. The video is a collaboration with film makers Chris Hefner and Menthol Pictures.

HIDE are formed of fine artist Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher, and together the pair use a combination of self sourced field recordings and various pop culture/media to create their intense and powerful sounds and visuals. ‘Chainsaw’ is one of many HIDE of tracks that challenges misogyny and the pain of those who have been brutalised, explored through blistering noise and confrontational vocals.

The duo will be touring both the US and Europe from July onwards, including a show with Kontravoid at London’s Shacklewell Arms on 3rd October which we urge you not to miss. Watch the video for ‘Chainsaw’ below and follow HIDE on Facebook for more updates.

If you have been affected by these visuals and want to seek support, visit the Rape Crisis website here.

Photo credit: Nicola Kuperus

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut