Hash Redactor – a band I knew absolutely nothing about, apart from being told that their latest release ‘Dreksound‘ was Lo-Fi, Punk-y, Grunge-y and, supposedly, right up my street. A quick Facebook search later and I had satisfied sorted out my curiosity fuelled queries.
Hailing from Memphis in Tennessee, I think these guys are about as far away from a local band to me as I could get, and yet, the sound was so familiar to what I see in my local venues on a Friday night. The record starts off on a almost Gothic Lo-Fi sound: heavy, overdriven bass and a haunting tinge of lead guitar before the vocals come in – dark and distorted. As the track progressed I felt a sense of imminence, the song builds and builds and leads on nicely to what follows.
As the album continued I started to notice that a lot of the songs sound similar, and whilst this creates a wonderful sense of continuity, I feel that at times I could have taken my focus off of the record, three songs would pass and I wouldn’t have quite realised, I don’t know if that’s because the transition from song to song was expertly crafted, or if it is truly because a lot of the songs sound similar. I’d argue that this record is like the Tarantino films of albums, they’ve found a style they like and are heart-set on sticking to it.
The two shining stars on this album for me are ‘Open Invite (To the Caves)‘ and ‘Bad Advice‘, with the chaos that the bridge for the former brings to the song, perhaps suggests an even more experimental edge to Hash Redactor that I would love to see more in future releases. ‘Bad Advice’ is the song I find myself drawn back to a lot of the time, maybe it’s just because I, personally am a massive fan of the bass tone on this particular tack, as well as the way that I could easily see myself getting thrown around in a mosh pit to this song after work on a Saturday night.
The album closes on ‘Floral Pattern‘, which is slightly more mellow than the rest of the album, but doesn’t lose the chaotic, Lo-Fi energy that the album had spent forty’ish minutes gathering. However, I found that the gathered momentum set me up waiting for a big finish, and instead of the huge anthem like climax I was waiting for, I got a reasonably mellow track that is a lot more easily followed than a lot of the other tracks on this album, and on the first listen, this disappointed me. However, as I’ve returned to this record, I’ve found myself quite enjoying the ultimate destination, and in a way I now feel as though ‘Floral Pattern’ is the catharsis this album needed for a closing track.
Overall, I enjoyed ‘Dreksound’. It’s a good reflection of the direction of Lo-Fi Punk/Grunge scene that is gaining so much traction at the moment. However I did have to stop and ask myself, ‘Is this the kind of record which an eager ex-boyfriend would show me so we had more music in common, and I’d just reply with “it’s not bad, I don’t mind it!” in order to not hurt his feelings?‘ and the answer to that was yes, definitely. However, if you enjoy bands that create noise and are going to create noise in the Lo-Fi alternative scene, Hash Redactor are for you. Heavy bass, haunting guitars, building drums and vocals that perfectly suit the style the band clearly aimed to create. If you’re looking for something that feels new but also strangely familiar from the first listen, I’d definitely urge you to give this band a try.