This really ought to be one for fans of that infamous Desert scene. You know the one: Kyuss, Fu Manchu and QotSA have made sure that the region will go down in folklore along with the DC hardcore and Madchester scenes. Sadly this Belgian troupe don't quite cut the Napa Valley mustard.
Invited to the studio in Joshua Tree by the ubiquitous Dave Catching, *Hulk *gained guest appearances by local heavyweights Brant Bjork and Jesse Hughes and recorded the album in little over a week. They sound they've been inspired by the usual suspects of MC5, Elvis and AC/DC as well as their new stoner colleagues, naturally and have snappy, catchy tunes which are far too often horribly clichéd especially when the vocals are given too much time to sink in. At times the playing is quite outstanding and has some heavy moments of true intensity worthy of the Desert school. At other times Renaud Mayeur's vocals are just plain cheesy and Mathieu Dumont and Giacomo Panarisi's vacillating rumbles, on bass and drums respectively, are just not up to scratch.
Hulk's sound may be an attempt at the sexy pure rock ‘n' roll that Hulk are trying to bring back but too often it veers messily from punky swagger to stoner slump. I am loathed to criticise the production of such a pedigree as Dave Catching but you can't help but feel it's a bit crap when the tunes should be belted out with Sabbath-style immensity but end up tumbling along like a can caught in the wheels of a bicycle.
5Raziq Rauf's Score