Young Hustlers – Hiding In The Open

Young Hustlers – Hiding In The Open LP Skuggsidan 2020

A number of years in the making, this debut full length from the Swedish Young Hustlers has finally been released following the debut cassette Encaged in 2016. Upon further investigation, the recordings for Hiding In The Open were made between 2017–2019; four of the album’s nine tracks were previously released, two tracks from the 2017 split tape with Alfarmania and two from Styggelse’s 2018 compilation tape Stadsbranden 3.

Before the needle drops into the LP’s groove, an aura of decayed urban settings and associated angst and malaise is immediately evident from the chosen images and graphic presentation. Then, when the sound breaks forth from the speakers it is an immediate metaphorical switchblade held to the throat. Simple structures of queasy oscillations, bulldozing distortion, buzzing static, sustained corrosive noise, and ripping heavily-treated vocals constitutes the general approach. Accordingly, this roots the album in a classic, aggressive, and certainly no-frills European-toned power electronics attack (self-described as ‘Hustler Electronics – Urban Decay’). Yet, the fact that the material spans various recording sessions functions to substantially widen out the sonics, which may have risked becoming one-dimensional if all material was recorded during the same recording session with the same studio and equipment settings. This provides for positive variation in what is ultimately quite a direct and straightforward approach, where the visceral nature of the sonic aggression is reminiscent of the white-knuckled rage and antagonism of early Grey Wolves material – which is no doubt high praise to give.

Honed and more direct than the debut tape, Hiding In The Open is an album that fully delivers on the promise demonstrated on Encaged. When a no-frills and to-the-point album is executed with such fierce conviction and aggression, it results in an absolutely fantastic release.

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