Notes from the Underground (Unabridged)

Studio Album by released in 2013

Notes from the Underground (Unabridged) review

Hollywood Undead play a music yet to be named

Whereas listeners keep enjoying the originality of Hollywood Undead who appeared a few years ago, critics still rub the backs of their heads trying to make up a name to what this LA sextet offers. The trouble is not only each new record from the band brings a blend of styles from rap to heavy alternative rock, but every time this blend is modified with addition of something new. You can call it whatever you want, but the fact is Hollywood Undead attach the attention of a very massive audience, thank to both the curious musical material, and the extraordinary image of the musicians who, following the example of older colleagues, conceal their faces behind masks. After a very extensive tour promoting the second album the ensemble instantly returned to the studio to prepare material for the following record. The work began in late 2011, and the results were published in early 2013.

Notes From The Underground: stronger aggression, deeper emotions, catchier melodies

The fresh product with the Hollywood Undead label is called Notes From The Underground, and its deluxe version adds the word Unabridged. The main question concerning the music direction chosen bt the band for this album was the balance between its heavy and aggressive ingredients, and dance and club ones. Mighty guitar riffs with tons of distortion on them, or winning rapping verses with tuneful choruses? The first half of the CD leaves no doubt here - Hollywood Undead chose a more serious, graver sound. The melodies of Dead Bite breathe the cold and damp of open graves (and graves do figure in this song), and From The Ground boosts up the speed and the power of a mad train unable to stop. Yet, Lion is when the musicians take out another trump from under their sleeve – a heart breaking chorus with straightforward and sincere lyrics. Lion, a clear reference to Linkin Park, makes the most out of alternation of nervous and angry spoken word with impressive melodious choruses filled with melancholy and despair. In the middle of the set there is another big track, single We Are, which has already become a smash.

Necessary experiments

Always remembering that Hollywood Undead are keen experimentalists, one must always be ready for drastic changes in the pace of mood of the album, which does take place on Notes From The Underground once the second half begins. A particular surprise is a dance-igniting piece named Pigskin, remarkable for its liveliness among gloomy neighboring tracks. Later, Rain, and Outside, are the songs where the album’s initial aggressiveness gives way to lyrical themes, and savage electricity is replaced by acoustics. Believe goes even further in this direction as it begins with a keyboard part inspired by R&B. On the whole, without Kill Everyone, sounding up to its title, it would be appropriate to speak about two different albums released under one cover of Notes From The Underground; that is how different the second half of the record is. The bonuses Medicine, One More Bottle, and Delish are stylistically even more separate and seem to be selected only to show how wide the boundaries of the Hollywood Undead music can run. However, the highlights of the album make it clear that it must delight all those who counted on a darker and heavier material from the band. The rest at least should try it.