Hacktivist [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 8/12/14]
Hacktivist defy categorisation. Their music is a mix of djent’s brutality and hip-hop’s flamboyance – but it’s impossible to merge those two genre labels without generating results that are…well…pretty shit. ‘Hip-djent’ reads like something you’d spot in an out of touch news rag whose contributors only feel truly comfortable with shameless fearmongering and casual racism, while ‘djent-hop’ sounds like a dance move guaranteed to alienate all but the most loyal friends.
Regardless of the issues involved in succinctly summing up what they do, Hacktivist clearly know where they come from. The fact that they take the stage and immediately blast into a Meshuggah-flavoured version of the main riff to Rage Against The Machine’s Born of a Broken Man says it all – and the onslaught of auditory violence that followed spoke volumes more.
Trying to follow essay-length rap tirades and metrically complex music at the same time is a tough ask – and most of the Boileroom crowd were content to just chuck themselves into a respectably consistent pit for the duration instead. That said, it was obvious that those in attendance had all done their homework – every song provoked mass singalongs, perfectly-timed headbanging, and plenty of bodily grooving despite the labyrinthine nature of the songs themselves. If there’s one thing to be said about Hacktivist fans, it’s that they know how to multitask.
Running through a set strewn with songs already received as classics, Hacktivist themselves demonstrated a fuckton of tour-honed tightness and impeccable technique. Hacktivist set out to win hearts and minds while providing plenty of intellectual stimulation – and in that goal, they succeeded. This was my first Hacktivist show – but there’s no way it’s going to be my last.
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