Hiraki, a Danish trio, deliver riveting synth-punk on their exhilratingly frenetic — and aptly titled — new full-length album, Stumbling Through The Walls, which drops in full on April 9 via Nefarious Industries and a slew of European labels.
Get a first listen below to the album in its entirety! Scroll down from there for a track-by-track breakdown of Stumbling Through The Walls from Hiraki.
With Hiraki, both sides of the synth-punk equation feel strong and vibrantly developed, and the elements seem quite organically interwoven. The urgent music feels raw and desperate, with hard-hitting melodies blanketing the release with emotive passion. The trio unite their powerful creations with their consistently pummeling performances — the record, as a whole, is grueling, as though vitriol is seeping out of it.
The rhythms throughout Stumbling Through The Walls prove marvelously off-kilter, like a soundtrack for some menacingly contorted stagger through filth. The synth blasts are confrontational, and the album’s harsh punk elements consistently land with resounding force like huge chunks falling from crumbling buildings. Sometimes, there’s a subtle feeling of reverie, since — although it’s excruciating — the music feels almost gleefully flippant, like determinedly venturing on even after getting scuffed up and bloody. It’s like dancing in a cloud of dust as concrete surroundings crumble, and the sonic mania is gripping.
Stumbling Through The Walls seems percussively forceful, from the cratering synth hits on album opener “Common Fear” (which features a guest vocal spot from Cara Drolshagen of The Armed) to the demolishing punk across the particularly standout track “Mirror Stalker.” Meanwhile, Hiraki amplify their synth elements at, among other moments, parts of “New Standards” and the particularly anxious “Peach Lung,” while other tracks, like “Wonderhunt,” dial up the crushing punk.
Hiraki sound like they’re questioning how stable that what used to stand really was in the first place. Their music is so intense that it’s got an air of free-wheeling existentialism, and it’s an awesome ride.
Hiraki features Jon Gotlev on vocals, synths, and noise; Tue Schmidt Rasmussen on guitars; and Tim Frederiksen on drums and backing vocals.
Featured Image via Malte Riis
Pre-order the record (from Nefarious) at this link.
Listen to Stumbling Through The Walls in full below! (If there’s an issue with displaying the music, please refresh the page and/ or wait a moment.) Keep reading for the track-by-track recap.
Check out the track-by-track breakdown from Hiraki below!
Common Fear: Our call out to all the unyielding and the bellicose. When Jon initially designed the slamming synth-horn we instantly knew that this should be the opening sound of the album. And being able to get Cara (of The Armed) onboard to finish off the track was indeed a dream coming true.
Wonderhunt: Wonderhunt was the first track we composed for the album and we took it out to the venues at an early stage when it was still far from finished. The live energy shaped it into what it is today and in many ways it was defining for the general sound of the album, which was then enhanced to perfection by mixing mastermind Klaus Q. Can’t wait to blast this propulsive endeavor of elegantly stumbling through existence out live again soon.
Proto Skin: We used to play an early version of this song live as well, but the final arrangement was a hard one to crack for us. Whereas the chord progressions were locked pretty quickly, the vocals have seen many versions before this one. Definitely worth the trouble though, as it is now both catchy and complex just the way we like it. A hymn to self-evolvement, volition and the shedding of layers in the process.
New Standards: One of the benefits of having our own recording studio is the possibility to compose and rearrange while we record. New Standards is the best example of this as it was really born in the studio with layers being added and subtracted time and time again. Rikke [Fink] (of Grizzly Tears) composed the lyrics and vocals herself and really nailed the feeling we had in mind. Discomfort in its essence.
Blossom Cuts: A strange, yet alluring bastard. For unknown reasons we tend to overlook this track as if we ourselves are not really ready for it yet. Nonetheless we are extremely pleased with the final arrangement and how the quick and progressive ascend makes you wanna rewind and start from the bottom again.
Mirror Stalker: The idea of having a pulsating and attention-grabbing sample ALL THE WAY through a song fits perfectly with the lagging feel of Mirror Stalker. And since the sample is played manually it adds further instability to the lyrics about giving away more than you know and the price of basking in the warmth of the display.
Peach Lung: We wanted to create a banger that was to be the complete opposite of a banger – you might call it an Anti-banger. Something dirty, ugly and gritty, but upbeat and catchy. Originating from just a beat, Anders Jørgen Mogensen (of Gullo Gullo) really took it to another level when we asked him to do the honor of laying down some lines for it. Everything came together and an anti-banger banger was born!
The Alarmist: The Alarmist serves perfectly as the final track of the sequence with a grim narrative about people who create panic to a degree where they themselves don’t know what is even up and down anymore. An aggressive start to a long journey, which ultimately leads to the inevitable dispute: Where is the moral when you need it?