REVIEW: HIDDEN AGENDA, "Hidden Agenda"
This CD, from a mysterious psuedononymous band, is one of the
most schizophrenic and amateurish recordings I've had the misfortune to endure.
Going straight past the musical question "why", this band seems to be answering
the unasked query "huh?". Stylistically, the CD jumps around like an epileptic
on acid. The first cut "The Voices", is a spoken-word track, from the viewpoint
of a child molester/murderer, accompanied by soothing electro/newage music.
Much of the album consists of wild misogynistic garage band thrash ("Free
Handouts", "Heavy Metal Slut", "Braindead", "I Hate Society", "***** must
die"), interrupted by bleak, pompous poetry readings (poetry readings???).
The second half of the album, labeled "Homi-cide", appears
to be some feeble attempt at an Abbey Road-style "rock concerto". Starting
with "Think I'll Wear Black Again Today" (a reasonably catchy R.E.M. ripoff
marginally suitable for radio airplay), the cycle drags the listener deeper
and deeper into despair, through the love-song-to-the-comatose ("Braindead"),
the ELP and UK influenced ("Violence is the Answer"), the mercifully brief
"Busload of Nuns", into the CD's lethal one-two punch: "Kill Yourself for
Satan" and "Kill My Parents". The band's apparent obsession with death in
all its forms reaches its most appalling depths with these two tracks, which
encourages listeners to suicide (complete with detailed instructions), and
commit patricide for the sheer thrill. The remaining tracks of the cycle plunge
into a confusing, often atonal musical morass that attempts to pull the listener
inside the mind of the criminally insane. If nothing else, it managed to drive
this reviewer crazy. Like the end credits to a Z-grade horror movie, the music
from the opening track "The Voices" is repeated at the end of the CD as "The
Silence", which is one of the few moments of listenable music on the entire
Are these people serious, or is this some sort of "in joke"
that went too far? It's hard to tell. Occasional moments of musical competence
surface (such as the keyboard parts on "Violence is the Answer", and the layered,
complex music to "The Voices"/"The Silence"). After suffering through this
execrable mess once, the only track I wanted to hear again was their cover
of Steve Miller's "Keep On Rockin", which consists of some horrible singer
mangling the melody, over an accompaniment of grunting and clacking noises
Rating: one star (for "Keep on Rockin")
Your humble servant, Eduard DeColere
Sponsored by the Natasfosuna Corporation for the Morally