Originally called "Hocico de Perro" (Spanish for "dog's muzzle" or "dog's snout"), Hocico was formed in the early 1990s by Racso Agroyam and Erk Aicrag, both former members of the Mexico City-based collective Niñera Degenerada. They released several albums on their own, and others later with the Mexican label Opcion Sonica, before signing with Metropolis in 2002. Wrack and Ruin is their third effort for Metropolis, and it finds the duo focusing on English lyrics (with mixed success) while continuing to develop its harsh-electro sound and its already considerable studio chops. These guys subscribe to the stage-whisper school of industrial vocalizing, which means that the songs basically all sound like they're being hissed (not sung) by Gollum rather than croaked by Cookie Monster or bellowed by a Luftwaffe drill instructor. It's an ugly sound, to be sure, but then these are ugly sentiments, borne of an ugly urban experience (sample couplet: "I'm a third world child getting mad/In this room among rats"). The beats are the typical jackboot rhythm of European industrial music, and the song titles are all along the lines of "Born to Be (Hated): Original Odium" and "Death as a Gift." If you're not mad at the world already, this album may not speak to you very much, but in that case, these guys probably don't have much to say to you anyway.
Wrack and Ruin Review
by Rick Anderson