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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 April 2008, 06:29 GMT 07:29 UK
Hadouken! album is finished...finally
by Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter


It has been two years since Hadouken! were formed in Leeds and a year since The Streets' Mike Skinner gave them one of their first Radio 1 airplays on Zane Lowe's show. So the question is, why are we just now hearing their debut album?

Singer James Smith told Newsbeat: "We weren't in any rush to get an album out and I know that sometimes when you get a bit of hype, then the pressure's there to get it out and capitalise.

"We just wanted to get it right."

The result is Music For An Accelerated Culture, due out on 5 May. Fans of the band will recognise some of the band's earliest material on the album.

For the others, Smith explained Hadouken!'s sound.

He said: "It's essentially an electronic record. It's energetic, there are a few poppy songs on there, we're not ashamed to do that and there's some guitars and some live drums but I think it works as a whole."

With nu rave band-of-the-moment Klaxons now on hiatus, there could be a danger the band have missed their window, while other new electronic artists like Late Of The Pier and Does It Offend You, Yeah? have gained in popularity.

Guitar player Dan 'Pilau' Rice insists the band aren't overly concerned about whether the record sells or not.

He said: "I think you can spend too much time worrying about it, we've made the album we wanted to make and we just have to sit back and see what happens.

"If it does well, that's fantastic but if it doesn't work, we'll just do something else."

Jacknife Lee

The band are looking toward one of their producers to hopefully provide them with some hits, having employed the services of Garret 'Jacknife' Lee.

Currently one of the most in demand producers working in Britain today, Lee has worked with bands as diverse as U2, Green Day, Snow Patrol and Bloc Party.

He's just finished REM's latest album, Accelerate, and is to remix Led Zeppelin's IV album.

Smith said: ""He did three songs and it was absolutely fantastic.

"His roots are in electronica and dance music throughout the nineties, so he really had a dance sensibility even though he works with bands like Snow Patrol."

"I think he said he enjoyed working with a smaller band because there's less pressure and we had quite a lot of fun in the studio."

Rice added: "He's just got a great production aesthetic. He made the beats really weighty and he's got all these secrets that make things pack a punch.

"He's also quite critical so if it's not a good enough chorus he'll let you know."

Declaration Of War

The first single to be taken from the new album is Declaration Of War. A dark, synth heavy floor filler with thumping beats, Smith reckons it was an obvious choice to signal the return of Hadouken!.

He said "It just felt like the one, it was the most poppy and we thought we'd put our best foot forward.

"But it's probably not a signifier of the album which is rawer."

It is available for download from 21 April, with the hard copy out the following week.

The video sees a change in direction for the band as well, as they flee through an urban landscape from a gang of chain wielding, sinister black leather clad assailants.

Smith said: "We went for a bigger budget king of thing, it's quite cinematic and we used a disused aircraft hanger.

"It was a mental set."

Hadouken! are on tour now and are due to play UK summer festivals including Reading and Leeds and Rock Ness.

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