HIT BARGAIN: POTENTIAL MAXIMIZER
Words fail to capture the power of Hit Bargain. Dark, sharp, and raw as hell, their music is deeply satisfying for the rightfully angry. The group says they set out to “create new shapes from the building blocks of a well-worn genre” and if their debut LP Potential Maximizer is any indication, that’s just what they’ve done, with a menacing post-punk sound and thoughtful lyrics about sex, gender, power, and capitalism. Nora Singh’s vocals alternate between sardonic commentary, emphatic wailing and melodic projection, and with Mike Barron’s electrifying guitar work, Anton Hochheim’s agile but steady drums and Sean Monaghan’s ominous bass, this group has the musicianship to back up their message. Opening track “Hell is Real” goes off like a bomb, and the intensity doesn’t falter for the rest of the album. The songs blend seamlessly into one another, especially “Tourist of My Desire” and “Tourist II,” which are powerful on their own but even more potent back to back. Closer “I Was Born” finishes the LP perfectly: this driving music and nihilistic lyrics about how “there is no future” make for a captivating manifesto of an album.