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Hater – Debut Album Reissue (Album Review)

Hater - Debut Album Reissue (Album Review)This album is the very definition of “Garage Rock”.  It’s played in a very loose and raggedy sort a way that has a lot of heart, but not much in the way of technical proficiency.  Hater totally encapsulates the very essence of what was happening during the early “Grunge” era of the 1990’s.  You can hear little bit’s of Soundgarden, Peal Jam, and Nirvana sprinkled throughout this album.  Which is to be expected with a group that features members of Monster Magnet, Mother Love Bone and Devilhead.  But that’s by no means to say that Hater is is just a rip off of more sophisticated acts.  I’m just trying to paint a picture of what the musical atmosphere was like when this album originally came out.  When you have a little background on a band as unconventional as Hater, it gives you a better appreciation for what they tried to accomplish musically.

Album
Most Rock music from the early 90’s was spawned as sort of a reaction to the decadence of the 80’s.  Where the music and fashion trends of the 80’s were chalk full of synths and flashy neon clothes, the 90’s had a much more stripped down approach where the keyboards were cast aside to be replaced by live instruments, and you could find your threads for the stage at any Salvation Army.  The track “Who Do I Kill” is a great example of the massive influence that the Classic Rock of the 60’s and 70’s had on Grunge and Garage Rock in the 90’s.  In a way you could say that American musicians took the fundamentals that those British acts from the 60’s put forth and inserted their own personal feelings of rage and isolation into a new brand of Rock ‘N’ Roll.
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For an album that came out in the early 90’s, the audio quality is pretty impressive.  You’ll often find with the music of that time that it has a tendency to be a little quieter than today’s artists.  Now, this can be a good thing and a bad thing.  It’s a good thing because so many artists today try to push the limits of what is an enjoyable volume level.  Either the bass is far to bombastic, or the vocals are so shrill that it sounds less like a human being singing, and more like a robot imitating what they think a voice should sound like.  But on the negative side, there are moments where you’ll have to raise the volume of an older song in order to hear every instrument.  Luckily that is not the case for this album.  Everything is punchy and crisp without becoming overpowering at any point.

I feel like I have a bit of a soft spot for this album in that even though most of the performances, particularly the guitars, could be described as wobbly at best, you can still hear the intense passion that each of thees 5 gentleman have for making music.  I’ve written, taught and performed music and I just love listening to someone create something that they truly care about, regardless of their level of musicianship.  The instrumental/acoustic song “Lion and Lamb” is a perfect example of this.  You hear them fumble a bit hear and there as they try to fluidly perform the melody.  But you can also hear their commitment to creating and expressing something that burns inside of them.

When you listen to a band like this that so completely represents a massive trend in music, it’s like having a real life time machine that takes you to an exact point and time in your life.  Having said that, Hater’s sound isn’t something I would call “dated” by any means.  But you can easily tell that their music was a part of a huge musical evolution that set the stage for future acts to come.  They’re definitely not one of the more famous or popular bands of that time.  But you can hear their passion and intensity resonate throughout the generations of bands and musicians that have come after them.
Hater - Debut Album Reissue (Album Review)
Summary
If you didn’t grow up around the time that this album originally came out, you might not have the same enthusiasm as I have for it.  But at the same time if you’re looking for the kind of Rock music that has TONS of heart and passion, then this is definitely something that you should add to your collection.  These days it’s kinda tough to find a good rock band that doesn’t also try to incorporate another genre into it’s style in order to appeal to broader audience.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with a mixing of the genres to create new forms of artistic expression.  But we need to acknowledge that it’s OK to have a band that is just straight up Rock ‘N’ Roll!
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Hater’s debut album is available on CD, Digital Download, and Vinyl July 15th!

Hater - Debut Album Reissue (Album Review)

 

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Writer, Musician, Composer, Singer and Dancer. To sum up: I like to get jiggy with it!

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