Most helpful critical review
on 20 September 2014
'Hybrid Child' has fantastic cover artwork that shouts of imagination and creativity. The booklet inside is as well thought out as well...
Sadly, the artwork here is both the best and most imaginatively creative thing about this album as the music and 'songs' either revolve around lyrical and musical repetition (as in the opener 'I Don't Wanna Wait Another Day') or endless musical noodling, riffing, or (seemingly) aimless experimentation. Ironically, 'Termites' goes too far the other way with its many garbled lyrics and frenetic pace it is quite possibly the best 'song' here as far as the lyrics but you'd be hard pushed to know that without reading the lyric sheet in the booklet!
Reading between the lines (or trying to) It seems District 97 have tried here to create a 'concept album' about aliens, alien abduction and or God but what exactly the message is in amongst all of the 'musical mush' I'm not sure?
There are some nice passages here and in this albums better moments you can just hear a slither of 10cc at their finest but all too often this album heads off into 'musical masturbation' land and dives into self-indulgent solos or repetitive riffs that only really serve the purpose of making the said track longer.
Rob Clearfield is certainly an AWESOME keyboard player and Leslie Hunt has a nice, distinctive voice. The addition of Katinka Kleijn on cello also adds to the mix but what this competent group of musicians lack are decent songs. Clearfield's playing reminds me in places of 70's prog-rockers, City Boy - the band could pick up a few hints listening to their epic prog rock song 'The Day The Earth Caught Fire', I feel.
All in all, I just don't feel this record. Its heavy, its well played and I guess there is a general theme to it but for me it sounds more like a group of friends getting together for a great jam session than anything I should take seriously.