February 09, 2022

The Soup Dragons - Hydrophonic (1994)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop Rock
Label Number: 314 522 732-2

© 1994 Mercury Records
By 1994, the British baggy-alternative-dance-Brit-pop movement had fizzled; the Happy Mondays were done, and the hits dried up for most of the lesser artists of the genre. This left the Soup Dragons in an interesting position: the band had roots in rock music (one band member would later be in Teenage Fanclub, two had already been in the BMX Bandits), so it seemed to make sense to rock up the mix a bit. Commercially, the album stiffed like cold, lumpy mashed potatoes. Most critics probably ignored it, but to do so would be a great injustice. Not to say that Hydrophonic is groundbreaking, but it is solid. Many of the beats (which weren't that great anyway) were stripped from the Soup Dragons' sound, and the guitars were pushed way up in the mix. At the same time, funk and soul were both far more prominent, and the "rock" songs are sweaty, and, well, almost Stonesy. This isn't quite the same band that gave listeners hits like "I'm Free" or "Divine Thing," but they're a far less cartoonish version of themselves, and this particular period in the band's history never deserved to be ignored as it was. The rule is this: If you loved Lovegod, this may not be for you. If you liked the more rocking parts of Hotwired, and want to hear more, this is an extremely worthwhile place to go. Just try not to be seen digging for Hydrophonic in the cut-out bin.

tags: the soup dragons, hydrophonic, 1994, flac,


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