The album entitled 'Version One' starts off with the slow driven funk song You Got to Move. A good beginning indicating the bands secure grounding, in established musical structures. Hangman is clearly a party band, the style professionally captured with a solid debut album. Previous EP releases entitled 'Raw Materials', 'Trade Goods' and 'Black Rock White Funk' over the last three years, have had some success and show overall good self management coalescing nicely into the twelve track CD.
Recorded by Ben Lawson at the Red Bull studio in Auckland and mixed by the bands own drummer Paul Burnell the end product is well conceived and produced. Mastering by Angus McNaughton was achieved to good effect.
It’s not until the forth song entitled Bring it Back that the band really hit their stride. The faster pace caries on into the next track From A to B which branches away from the established funk/hip-hop genre and into a heavier rock format. Michael S. Smith’s Incubus, Rage Against The Machine and Red Hot Chilli Peppers influenced guitar sound doesn’t deviate much from the original and that’s not a bad thing. Brent Strathdee holds it all together with on the money base lines and rap vocals in the vein of the Beastie Boy’s while Paul Burnell’s drums effectively work away in the background.
The CD keeps its tight grooves throughout and there’s a good range of dynamics and song ideas. At times originality takes a back seat to emulation, however the overall intrinsic musical talent is pretty obvious. This reaches a heavier edge with the ninth track entitled Fallen but bounces right back with Take Your Time which is an instrumental odd to the funk genre. The bonus tracks Do It and Just Be define the band from their American based counterparts previously mentioned.
I like the pick up ska influence, darker riffs and where the band diverges into more original pieces. That being said, this is a great release not only because of the continuance of genres, but because the execution of those styles is pretty much flawless.
HANGMAN brings blistering riffs and grooves into the local band scene. Hard hitting yet funky grooves and tunes with twists and turns on the way...