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.
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.
Hater’s debut album is available on CD, Digital Download, and Vinyl July 15th!