Hocico – Ofensor (Out of Line)

  Van Muylem    23 november 2015

The Mexican pioneers of Hard Electro are back with a new album Ofensor. After more than two decades, the aggressive sound that Erk Aicrag and Racso Agroyam a.k.a. Hocico produce tries to hit us and knock us off with their primal force of beats, shouts, atmospheric sound sculptures, brutal cacophony and aggressive, yet catchy raw electronic/punk/club minded sounds.

The CD starts with Déjà-Vu Siniestro, the title is well chosen as for most of the upcoming tracks that is the feeling I have. Off course it’s hard to change your style or find new paths or sound stronger when you are known and have your reputation, but still … The album opens with what I call a soundscape skipper. Relentless is the first real track: stomping beats and English lyrics. The tempo is a bit too slow; I miss the agressivity, the anger and real feelings.

Sex Sick has a warm sound and that’s a bit strange for this band. Once again I miss the drive. Club land might be the aim, but I don’t think they succeed. Bienvenido A La Maldad is the first good track, old school and pretty straight forward with a sharp sound and up-tempo. El Destello En El Cristal is yet another soundscape/skipper (dark and slow). Heart Attack is yet another slow one, as if indeed one was having an heart attack whilst recording this track. I Will Be Murdered (4 Minutes of Horror), after the Paris attack this might be the worst title track! I’m not sure if it’s the right time to release this one? This really sounds as if they joined IS and are talking about their evil plan (4 Minutes of Horror).

Ofensor sounds very poppy until the bomb gets dropped and we hear the kind of Hocico I expected! For the first time on this album I can rejoice! Harsh sound and perfect drive! Get your arms in the air or dance along! This is a pearl and a must have for the fans! Mind Circus is less good, but still not bad at all. The tempo could be a bit higher and the sound harsher, but they decided to go for a more techno minded approach, inclusive the little touch down and reboot. The 5th Circle

Is yet another soundscape, a bit a bizarre one without any direction or meaning. Auf Der Flucht is mainly sung in English, but mixed with some German. For those who missed it all: Hocico now resides in Germany! I can imagine that some German DJ’s might play this one during a party. It’s catchy enough to be used and enjoyed! In the Name of Violence reminds me again of IS and at this moment that’s the worst thing to be reminded of. Ok, the track is a bomb but the lyrics scare me. If there would not have been terrorist attacks an lock downs this would have been the highlight of the album! I adore the raving sound and for the first time the aggression feels real! Muerte en Reversa is yet another soundscape. Rather than ending with a big boom we are put asleep and slowly awakened by some drum’n bass and some industrial.

After the regular album comes the remix-CD Invasor and that is honestly the best part! Black Opium gets a few new versions. First one is the great Heimataerde (extra guitars and Arabic influences), the other one is more into drum’n bass/techno (Flames From Hell by Salem Witch Switch). Sex Sick also gets 2 remixes. The first one by Stahlnebel & Black Selket is almost like it really should sound like and makes it worth a try! The tempo is harder and the extras are giving it that extra pinch needed! Twisted Destiny change it into a more Europop track, whilst keeping the original vocals. Mind Circus (Darkstaar vs. AJ Afterparty Remix) turns it more into club land, with roaring beats and fat bass! Heart Attack (Remixed by Jak Syn) stays a weak track, too soft and with a low tempo. The Unzyme's Hyperventilation Shaft Remix doesn’t change much about it either, giving it a more into rap style with some drum’n bass and techno. Relentless (Elektrosauerkraut Remix von Ost+Front) gets a good new life with more beats and more bleeps (minimal wave versus techno). Next one is Ofensor with a great power metal version done by Powerotik (that would be a great new direction for Hocico) with some electronics and some industrial in the break. This is clearly the best mix of the album! Orbitales has the honor to close the album with the remix of the same song. The electronic sound and the beats are not bad, it comes close to the Sonar sound and that ain’t bad at all.

I must say that bands like Suicide Commando or more recently C-Lekktor have proven to be more inventive and are presenting us a wider sound. I feel somehow that Hocico misses the Mexican feel: the misery, the perverted system, the deserted feeling, the aggression, the political incorrectness, the hot Mexican weather … That is the reason why I prefer the remixes rather than the new tracks. It feels a bit as a disappointment. Maybe I expected too much from them (and honestly: that might be the reason). The other thing is that off course everyone was jumping in to remix them and get some more fame, so yeah it resulted in picking out the best remixes and trash the trash! So don’t get a heart attack, the next album might be better!

Track List:


1. Déjà-Vu Siniestro

2. Relentless

3. Sex Sick

4. Bienvenido A La Maldad

5. El Destello En El Cristal

6. Heart Attack

7. I Will Be Murdered (4 Minutes of Horror)

8. Ofensor 

9. Mind Circus

10. The 5th Circle

11. Auf Der Flucht

12. In the Name of Violence

13. Muerte en Reversa

Remix-CD “Invasor”

1. Black Opium (Aneto Remix by Heimataerde)

2. Sexsick (Touched by Stahlnebel & Black Selket)

3. Mind Circus (Darkstaar vs. AJ Afterparty Remix)

4. Black Opium (Flames From Hell by Salem Witch Switch)

5. Heart Attack (Remixed by Jak Syn)

6. Relentless (Elektrosauerkraut Remix von Ost+Front)

7. Black Opium (H.EXEcution by H.exe)

8. Ofensor (Remixed by Powerotik)

9. Sexsick (Remixed by Twisted Destiny)

10. Heart Attack (Unzyme's Hyperventilation Shaft Remix)

11. Ofensor (Remixed by Orbitales)

Bonus MCD “Agresor”

1. Black Opium

2. What Are You Doing in My Dream?

3. Made of Hate