Well, hasn’t this been the biggest gap between reviews! 6 months since I wrote my overall thoughts on Hardwired To Self Destruct (HTSD) I’ve finally got round to writing my thoughts for the opening track. Better late than never? We’ll see.
As the album opener it has some pretty big shoes to fill if we think about some of the bands previous opening tracks. Hit The Lights on Kill Em All, the track that introduced the band to the world, Fight Fire With Fire, Battery, Blackened, Enter Sandman… well you get the point.
So how does Hardwired stack up? Well after having the album on rotation since it came out late last year, I think it stacks up pretty well to be honest.
Opening with a bang the machine gun salvo of staccato guitars and drums demand immediate attention, and the frantic pacing shows a band still capable of speed riffing with the best of them. Musically and structurally I think this is the most straight forward track on the album, with Murder One following a close second. Lyrically the song is minimalistic and I have read some reviews criticising the lyrics as “simplistic” and “stock” (I’ll admit when I first heard the track I did have similar feelings). Listening to it now though and in context with the rest of the record I now feel they are just what the song needs, straight forward and to the point. I’ll let James explain it better than I ever could.
“‘Hardwired’ is so simple, it is not Shakespeare, I know that. But gosh, are humans really doing the right thing? You know. And in the history of time, we’re a little blip. And are we gonna be gone? Are we phasing ourselves out with electronics? Are we becoming this? Are we gonna self-destruct because of our egos and all of the stuff that makes humans human? That whole sentence ‘hardwired to self-destruct’ came from a friend of mine that was just throwing it out there as a struggling addict. Is that what it’s like for us? Is our default just to die? Earlier than we’re supposed to. Wreck. Destroy our lives; are we hardwired to self-destruct? And that just caught my ear.” Read more at – http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/metallica-james-hetfield-on-hardwired-lyrics-it-is-not-shakespeare-i-know-that/#fTqg7z0UZCkpCkKq.99
So, as I said it isn’t a complicated track, it’s about attitude, speed and anger and a line like “We’re so fucked, shit out of luck” conveys that feeling succinctly.
There are other songs on HTSD that provide deeper lyrics, the fantastic Here Comes Revenge being one example, so I think that we should give Hardwired a break and enjoy it for the fast paced riff monster it is.
Hardwired – Official Music Video
Directed by Colin Hakes & The Artist
The Making of Hardwired (Riff Charge)