Resonant, thrilling and majestic in its unhurried details, HATEMs Ultraviolet Catastrophe shows a band finding their signature sound. Alternating between melancholic washes of guitar and contemplative synthesizers, this four piece from Madrid combines influences of hazy psychedelic pop, shoegaze and ambient music for a dazzling sound thats both ethereal and immersive.
Decorative guitar and assertive bass introduce choral vocals in the bands first single release, 'They Wont Let Me Grow, which careers into stomping drum-led crescendo, speaking, thematically, of a stinted reality surrounding our everyday lives. Dense, restrained electronic power boldly coats precious and ornate lyricisms, creating a fantasy not so far removed.
The ten songs of Ultraviolet Catastrophe take their lyrics from the ten small poems that make up Roy Tiger Miltons poem of the same name. Strongly indebted to the lyrical conventions of magical realism, Milton draws upon fables, folk tales and mythology to explore the mysterious and phantasmagorical qualities of human existence that fall outside the realm of perceived everyday reality.
Speaking of Miltons influence, HATEM say: "(his) poem spoke about the reality that surrounds us, here, in Seattle, or anywhere else. At times there were encouraging moments and at other times, profoundly melancholic. It spoke of how reality is, of how it doesnt exist. Of being trapped in a unreal world, where only magic would make us free. That wasnt metaphorical. It wasnt poetic. It was the truth, the only truth. He dedicated his whole life to prove this. Thats why weve made this album about the poem."
The overarching lyrical themes on Ultraviolet Catastrophe are stories from different voyages, about journeys that vary constantly and never return to the same place twice, following that "light that guides us to find the only truth of our spirit". The lyrics are a prophetic mix of fables and moody atmospheric stories, asking the listener to not just subscribe to an abstract idea of there being a fount of magical possibilities from deep within, but to go deeper to the place where that belief comes from - a realm where beauty cannot be threatened by the mundanities of everyday existence.