Featuring members experienced in their craft from playing with bands such as Barn Burner, Bionic, Mi Amore, Fifth Hour Hero, Black Ships, The Forum, Dig It Up, Prevenge and more, Canadian hardcore band Hashed Out has made an immediate impression in their home city since forming last year. They have earned a potent following through their live shows and support slots with bigger touring bands hitting up Montreal, as well as their accomplished and refreshingly striking sound. As evidenced by their debut self-titled EP, theirs is a presence which takes no prisoners and holds no rein on its aggressive intent but equally comes with an invention and creative maturity which can only ignite the imagination. The six-track bruising is a formidable and stirring introduction to a band destined to make a strong name for itself in the punk world if they exploit the potential soaking the EP.
Band and release makes an indelible mark on thoughts instantly with opener Spent Shell. Riffs career dangerously through the ears from guitarists Jean Bélanger and Kevin Keegan to rile and inflame the senses straight away whilst drummer Taylor Freund tenderises their balance with heavily loaded swipes which are as angry as they are resourceful. The initial fury takes a breather for a few seconds before igniting again with a predatory charge led by the raw vocals of Alex Cartier. It is an incendiary incitement which has thoughts and emotions wide awake along with a swiftly keen appetite for the band’s offerings. With the dark throated intrusive bass of Mathieu Guilbault prowling and leaping at ears within the tempest, it is a full and rounded ferocity unleashed but one with a clarity and understanding of antagonistic pressure. Across its three minutes plus, the track twists and turns in gait and strength of hostility, a crust/metallic essence as potent and descriptive as the hardcore blood surging through its veins.
The strong start is immediately matched by the voracious Maniac, a carnivorous plea and emotive declaration riding a pestilential prowl of sound complete with short grooves and infectious hooks. Barely two minutes in length it is a rigorous temptation pushing and challenging the senses whilst the great backing vocals of the string manipulators adds extra weight to both the examination and seducing of ears. The song is a step on from the first and that ascent is continued by the masterful Your Holiness. From its first breath rhythms resonate through bone and ears with their dulled but vengeful punches whilst around them sonic squalls of guitar aligned to scarring riffs make a magnetic attention grabbing contribution. Evolving from a relatively urgent start into a crawling rapacious doomy scourge, the track is an honest incitement which ends in a fiery climax instigated by an excellent bass trigger from Guilbault.
The ferocious tsunami of passionate spite and sonic causticity that is Total Bore is a glorious roar and provocation which again pushes the levels up another step. The track merges essences of grind and crust into its malevolent rabidity but again there is a veining of hooks and contagious lures which in its mere one minute plus, forges and scores out a new pinnacle for the release.
Dust Mites ambles menacingly in next, rhythms and heavily groaning riffs a hypnotic coaxing from the first moment which intimidates whilst simultaneously seducing a fuller recruitment of ears and imagination. Once more a song on the release is stalking the listener, skirting and crowding emotions with an intense evocation of sound, and again it is the prelude to a ravenous rampage of compelling punk bred tenacity.
The release is completed by To The Wolves, a concussive onslaught which employs just as debilitating and thoroughly captivating winding strands of sonic enterprise and highly inventive unpredictable twists of design to ignite the passions. It is a glorious end to an outstanding debut, the song continuing the tendency of the release to get stronger and more impressive which each subsequent song.
With essences of bands such as Catharsis, Eyehategod, and Black Flag flavouring their sound it is fair to say that Hashed Out is not quite yet a wholly unique proposition but that is the only issue if it can be even classed as such. Their EP is tremendous and the first call of a band certain to provide a mighty presence and have certain success ahead.
The Hashed Out EP is available as a single-sided 12″ on L’Œil du tigre and digitally at http://hashedout.bandcamp.com/album/hashed-out-ep now!
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