Being suckers for anything with a hint of insanity, lunacy, and mayhem we had a certain appetite to check out the debut EP from Trinidad outfit Hail the Hatter when offered the opportunity all because of its great suggestive cover. The Mad Hatter image on its cover sparked that eagerness and once inside we can certainly say the release more than satisfied on all three aspects. More so it revealed a band with a dab hand at creating infectious hard rock ‘n’ roll with a penchant for metal bred revelry.
Hail The Hatter was formed by guitarist Dax Cartar and vocalist Jonathan Boos, the pair swiftly enlisting drummer Nicholai Assam on drums, and Devin Harry Paul on bass. As the band began thinking about recording a clutch of songs they had written, personal reasons meant the bassist had to leave the outfit but was soon replaced by Aaron Lowchewtung. Produced by Maarten Manmohan and Nicholas Marsan, Discovering Light introduces the band’s fun infested sound to the world through six tracks, a sextet of varying but constant captivation lying in wait behind the opening doom laden introduction of The Coming of the Hatter.
From that dark threat and its storm coaxed shadows, the rapacious Bone Grin strolls, bass and beats lining the way as Cartar’s guitar teases and subsequently flames across the song’s swiftly installed swagger. Boos is soon in the mix with his vocal mischief and roar, hooks and grooves following as hard rock meets raw rock ‘n’ roll in the seriously catchy opener. Classic and glam rock traits add to the web of sound while metal nurtured invention brings devious aggression and predacious virulence to the mix; it all making for an easy to devour first stomp with Hail the Hatter.
It’s almost bedlamic prowess is followed by the devilish exploits of God Bless The Beast, the track like a punk infested fusion of Mötley Crüe and Converge. It needed little time to tempt and persuade, scythes of guitar and swinging rhythmic trespasses instantly igniting the senses even before Boos and Cartar uncage their creative appetites. The track is swiftly matched in success and enterprise by the groove woven A.O.A.U. Straight away its Caribbean toned rhythms had the imagination hooked, those subsequent spice flushed grooves adding to its inescapable lure. As with other tracks, the song’s sound is maybe not particularly unique but as its imagination, every twist and turn of sound brings a freshness which demanded keen attention.
The sinister psychosis of White Walls is accompanied by a prowling sound, its psychotic air and voice contagious rock ‘n’ roll as rich and loco as you could wish. Throughout its unhinged antics, riffs inflame rhythms swing, and grooves incite, vocal unity an anthemic icing to its predacious lunacy before Akasha releases its own shadow brewed shuffle and mystique coated melodic dance n the imagination. Middle Eastern hues hint and intimate throughout even as the flirtatious calm of the song erupts into just as addictive tempests. Everything is skilfully woven and passionately delivered with Lowchewtung uncaging one glorious dirt encrusted snarl of a bassline to cap the inescapable temptation.
Song by song the EP just gets bigger, bolder, and more impressive; continuing the trend with its final and best moment, its title track. From the opening dark groan of cello, Discovering Light just enthrals; its continuing stroll thick in suggestion and beauty as guitar and bass join its evolving drama. Equally a hint of mental instability flickers in its dance before the track unveils its full rapacious and increasingly frenzied rock ‘n’ roll. The track is immense, the show stopper even within a handful of similarly striking encounters.
Though Discovering Light had ears and attention in its hands pretty swiftly, it is with subsequent ventures into its creative dementia that its truly got under the skin, so much so that it has barely allowed anything else to grab a place on the just for pleasure turntable in our offices. The EP is not perfect if such a thing exists but gives rich pleasure from start to finish, never a bad thing in our book, and ripples with the potential of greater dark deeds ahead with Hail The Hatter.
Discovering Light is available now @ https://www.hailthehatter.com/media-get-album and for a limited time as a free download.
Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018
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