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HARDSCORE

RIO/Avant-Prog • Belgium


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HardScore biography
This unique Belgian band provides adventurous, challenging chamber music in the RIO tradition, played with humour (both lyrical and musical) and by expert musicians. They are headed by classical composer Frank Nuyts who assisted by his wife and pianist Iris De Blaere, their mezzo-soprano daughter Maļ (who sounds a lot like Kate Bush) and five other musicians contributing some keyboards, drums, saxophone, electric bass and various percussion instruments.

Nuyts, who wanted to bridge the gap between commercial and classical music, has obviously attained his goal with the excellent albums the band has put out since 1998. All three feature intricate and intelligent compositions not devoid of a certain Zappa-esque quirkyness, blending chamber music with classical, jazz, pop and rock, all sounding fresh and delightful. The combination of electric and acoustic instruments adds an interesting texture as does Maļ's ever-present and beautiful voice.

Fans of SOFT MACHINE, HENRY COW, HATFIELD AND THE NORTH as well as HAPPY THE MAN ought to check this band out.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

HardScore official website

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HARDSCORE discography


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HARDSCORE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
Methane
1998
4.05 | 5 ratings
Surf, Wind and Desire
2000
4.69 | 7 ratings
Monkey Trial
2004

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HARDSCORE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Surf, Wind and Desire  by HARDSCORE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.05 | 5 ratings

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Surf, Wind and Desire
HardScore RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Belgium bands seem to fall into two categories: first we have the symphonic bands like Machiavel , Isopoda , Phylter etc... then we have , most thankfully, the other ones much more adventurous and complementary to Belgian Surrealism/Conscious Absurdism mood , Canterbury or RIO prog bands( among which Present, Univers Zero , Cro Magnon, Aksak Maboul, Finnegan's Wake etc... Hardscore is somewhat unique that they come from the northern (flemish bands are generally more symphonic) part of the country whereas most of the RIO and Canterbury bands come of the francophone side.

HARDSCORE falls in the second category (RIO and Flemish) , being an unlikely mariage of Zappa music , Kate BUSH vocals and songwriting , and percussions that the Moerlen brothers (from GonG and GONGZILLA fame) would agree upon. One can trust Greger Ronnqvist's description of their music as it is quite acurate but really you will be amazed by the Kate Bush singing , something he apparently failed to mention.

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 Monkey Trial by HARDSCORE album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.69 | 7 ratings

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Monkey Trial
HardScore RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by carbastiagueiroxxx

5 stars Monkey Trial is an absolute masterpiece in my opinion. A real progressive rock album mixing Zappa influences with Canterbury, chamber rock and RIO. They are a Belgian band that features female voice, piano, marimba, synthesizer, winds, bass and drums. Complex arrangements for interesting and intelligent compositions, excellently played. Some Henry Cow, some Soft Machine, some Hatfield... but at a high level of both performance and composition. If complex music is your thing, than this band will have your head spinning. An amazing album!

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 Surf, Wind and Desire  by HARDSCORE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.05 | 5 ratings

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Surf, Wind and Desire
HardScore RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars HARDSCORE is a group formed around Frank Nuyts, the bands composer. Frank was once an awarded classical composer but changed his musical directions and formed HARDSCORE, a band without musical boundaries. Their music is complex, often humorous, blending chamber music, classical music, jazz, pop and rock into something that could've originated from the musical genius Frank ZAPPA. It's performed on both electric and acoustic instruments with a female vocalist and highly technical musicians.

The main-theme of this album is centred on the sea with all the creatures living in and around it. Sometimes the musicians are bursting into a complicated freaked-out rhythm- pattern; sometimes slowing down to let Maļ's beautiful voice come through.

Perhaps you could call this music for musicians, but I think that it can be enjoyable for everyone who's not afraid of some intriguing compositions. RECOMMENDED!

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 Methane  by HARDSCORE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Methane
HardScore RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars HARDSCORE has to be one of the most adventurous bands in Belgium. Their compositions are experimental and filled with lots of humour, both in the music and in the lyrics. They're mixing chamber music, Jazz, progressive rock and RIO to a daring and complex result. The use of both electric and acoustic instruments adds texture to the final result. Sometimes it's reminiscent to Frank ZAPPA on albums such as "The Grand Wazoo" (1972).

The lyrics are often humorous but they can also be serious. One of my favourites are "The Vaporous Existence Of Harry The Termite". It deals with radiation, ozone depletion and the EARTH's atmosphere, but with the story told from a termite's view. Clever! Or the erotic song "Castaway", where the supposed opposite sex turns out to be nothing more then a bottle of beer. Hard to describe but very funny!

HARDSCORE are a challenging but pleasant experience, and if you're into this kind of music you won't get disappointed.

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