"Demo" (EP, 2002)
The black and grey sleeve image of multiple fists gives fair warning of what to expect from this Leech Woman spin-off outfit. The anarchic, post-punk attitude shares similarities with Hydra's sister band, but instead of the Neubautenesque bashing being up front, here its more contemporary punk with programming in place of the more 'played' instruments of old. Staff duties are split three ways thus: Nick: Flesh, Raye: Machinery, Rog: Metal. Although they don't often use guitars they do go for sounds that emulate them.
Head and Heart's sombre combination of a news report of anti-fascist action against the BNP and minimalist programming, distorting metallic percussion and Nick's calls for humanity is representative of the Hydra approach. Labyrinth is the most overtly electronic piece and less aggressive than what has gone before. The dense production is perfectly suited to the use of guitar-like sounds, synths, percussion and infrequent vocals. Kinda a more nihilistic nephew of Ministry. Waking up Drunk is perhaps most like the first wave of punk thanks largely to a driving guitar-like riff and the most conventional lyrics. As perfect evidence of their sublime ability to meld genres with ease, Bite manages to splice Religion PILism with the sequencer from The Human League's Scenes of Leaving. Hydra are one of the few bands in the UK that have cracked that tricky conundrum: "How do you reflect your influences yet not dwell on the past?" Do it like this - that's how. 7/10
Official Hydra website: http://www.slainofthehydra.com