Hybrid Children - _Stardom Is Here_
(Dream Catcher, 2000)
by: Kirsty Buchanan (7 out of 10)
What a shame that Hybrid Children chose such a stuttering non-entity of a track as "No Parade at the End of the Drain" as one of the openers to this collection of pop-rock fun. From the lamenting ballad style of "Crawl Back to Win" to the fiercely opinionated "I'm a Work of Art", _SIH_ is anything but consistent in quality. This release marks a foray into more pop based sounds; _SIH_ is less metal themed than 1998's _Drugster_. Although an essentially listenable album with a light-hearted, feel-good vibe, _SIH_ can and does at times seem somewhat contrived. While "Like Every Day Is the Last" is an introspective statement with powerful complimentary guitar, it nonetheless sounds excessively vocally led. Potential live favourite "Urban White Boy Blues" suffers the same problem with its sing-along-a-Hybrid feel: their Finnish accents transfer through slightly poorly into the vocals, and they can end up sounding like upper-class Oxford boys. I have no concrete proof or specific example with which to refer and compare, but "Down for Evermore" just sounds a little too familiar to me. I can't say to what because I'm not sure. There is always the possibility that it's just one of those songs, but I don't know... However, a mainly mediocre album is redeemed from the detriments of sloppy guitar work and weak song construction by the pure happy energy fired into it -- a fact exemplified by the upbeat percussion. On a number of journeys around his kit, I was both surprised and impressed by the way (the intriguingly named) Headache's talents overshadowed the other Children. Generally an amiable offering; although there are other Kids in the playground who play the game better, few have the simple gusto of the Finns.

(article published 10/1/2001)


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