Thursday, December 8, 2016

EP Review: HAAN Sing Praises

Sing Praises
Kaos Kontrol (Finland)
As Brooklyn, New York’s Haan classify themselves as sludge punk I initially thought of Discharge, Doom, Disfear and the like… early Sore Throat and Nausea. But in the bio accompanying their weblink to Sing Praises they mention Sonic Youth and Swans as having helped them construct their sound with The Stooges and Spaceman 3. So it’s a late-80s/early 90’s post-punk concept that is the basis of Haan’s style; even so some portions are more closely likened to 80s crust punk than you would conjecture. In other words you’re getting something more appealing than old MTV fare with twice the heaviness and distortion. These four tracks are the antithesis of everything that made alternative palatable. It’s fortunate in my ongoing quest for originality I am still finding it. My earliest impressions of Haan were how comparable the opening strains of The Cutting and Pasture/Abuela were to Tool, if their material glistened less and their caustic qualities were amped up tenfold. The guitars, bass and drums gather to unleash a stringent incursion on your senses but the tumultuous feel is harnessed by the musicianship, directed straight between the eyes. Another impression the band gave me was in War Dance in which Chuck Berrett seems to channel the spirit of Jim Morrison from beyond with his dangerous blues inflections. Getting back to Pasture/Abuela, this eight-minute scorcher completes the job of the previous three songs, staying long enough to see to it that what brain matter you have left is crushed into unrecognizable viscera. If you like epic songs this may become your personal favorite of this EP. Sing Praises is sold out and can only be heard on Haan’s Bandcamp, however there is a full length in the works which should be released early in 2017. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. The Cutting
2. Shake The Meat
3. War Dance
4. Pasture/Abuela

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