Haq123 are insanely prolific. The three-piece (Zac on drums, Millie on vocals and Dave on bass) bowled us over earlier this year with their wordily titled third album “Evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls”.
It’s quite remarkable that the group, consisting of two early teens, are already on their fourth album.
So how does it stack up? Well… it’s another absolute ripper!
The contrast of Millie’s vocal with the utterly brutal bass and drums on tracks like “It’s a Hard Life If You Don’t Weaken” and “Elements” is glorious. This, married with the softer synth phrases that play out like public announcements is, when you boil it down, the basis of the Haq123 sound.
The awesome “Award Winning Yellow Chicken” has every element. The gorgeous introductory synths glisten, lightly distort, warp and delay. A feedback squeal breaks the harmony and an almightily doomy bass line and pummelling drums explode into action. Millie’s accompanying lyrics are a constant flow of related phrases. She creates often hilarious imagery; inviting someone over to dinner to eat various undesirable and rancid foods until her guest throws up blood. Another hypnotic synth phrase closes out the track before the vile sounding opening bassline of “Neighbours” sets up another full on riff. Zac’s drums are, in equal measure, powerful and tight. They also delight in some bizarre cartoonish noises.
“Falling of the Human Worm” takes a turn for the bizarre. The jaw harp, bass and drums intro is faintly ridiculous but acts as a foil for the aggressive onslaught of fuzzed bass, huge drums and swirling synths to come. Haq123 still have a penchant for rather Satanic sounding vocal effects, as is evidenced on the awesome “Live Alone – Die Alone”. It rips into an explosive killer riff that, half way through, takes a back seat to a creepy, spacious reverb soaked refrain.
The 8 minute “Fortress of Distress” continues with the devilish pitched vocals, set initially to a surprisingly gentle backdrop. Of course, it would be foolish by this point to not expect the longest song to, at some point, burst into noise. The band duly oblige. The difference, here, is in the way they intersperse these sections and make far more room for the spacey quiet.
There’s still time, as well, for one more mean sludgy riff on the short but brilliant “Three a Day”. It’s not your average album closer and is probably the most compact and instant song on the record. In part, it reminds us of the wonderful Scab City.
In the short space of time between this and the fantastic “Evil Spirits…” you can already hear a sizeable progression. The songwriting, the technical proficiency and production levels are all on the up. Haq123 have found a sound and honed it. This band continues to fascinate.
You may enjoy this if you like: Human Leather, Lightning Bolt, Boris, Noxaagt