Haq123 are a sludgy, doomy trio from Birmingham with an 11 year old singer, Millie and 12 year old drummer, Zac, whose father Dave completes the trio on bass. Already on their 3rd album, they’ve graced both Supersonic and Supernormal festivals in recent times.
Immediately intrigued by the premise of the band we had to check this album out and we must say there is an unerring maturity displayed throughout.
Opener Warrior Barber builds sinister feedback and creepy industrial percussion like you might hear in a creepy warehouse in a horror film.
A glimmering chord eventually climbs out of the murk “…don’t panic, everything is going to be ok if we just don’t panic” urges pseudonymic singer (on bandcamp) Miller Killer, aka Millie. Obviously, given our new age struggles, this is particularly resonant.
There’s a warbling delay and pitched down harmoniser on the vocal, which offers a variety of instructions. seemingly garnered from everyday slogans like “think” and “keep it simple”.
There is a sudden burst of machine gun drums and extremely dirty bass that rips into absolutely awesome simple stoner riffing and junk percussion. This kind of had to come from Birmingham.
Millie screaming “Relax!” contrasts wonderfully with the filthy sounds cooked up. Eventually those chords chime back in with the lyrics, again, resembling an inspirational Ted talk or a hypnotherapy tape.
This palindromic song is followed by Gravestone Robber, which is an immediately dirtier affair. Skattered drums are followed by another brutal stoner riff. The vocals appear to be sung in a Scottish accent, resembling a younger, sloppier, heavier Sluts of Trust. The drumming is phenomenal. They even make space for a cheeky reference to Peter Gabriel’s sledgehammer.
Catch indulges in free noise, featuring short bursts of drums, thunderous bass and a story telling element that brings Slint to mind. It appears to be about someone throwing shit at someone:
““Catch it” he shouted. “I can smell it from here, I’m not catching that.””
The drums then lock into a groove accompanied by a sparse hook that goes from delayed to fuzzed and dirty before coming full circle back to the bursts again.
The record shifts from EP to album with the 20 plus minutes of Denis and Roger. Opening with atmospheric creeping synths and cymbal splashes, the track is a journey featuring various sections, firstly made up solely of percussion crashes and jangles, then a creepy devil voiced child introducing another super simple, gnarled riff accompanied by hefty drums.
This drops into a quieter mode which again somewhat recalls Slint, allowing the devil child to speak her satanic verses. There are some unsettling delayed guitar touches that accentuate space.
The same riff appears again with added aquatic atmospherics. It all ends with intense synth stabs followed by duelling arpeggios and more of that eery feedback.
It may be a touch self indulgent but what do you expect? Name a 20 minute song that isn’t and we will call you a liar. There’s enough in this song to retain interest and it works well in creating a mood that we can ride with.
When people this young come out with something so accomplished you know they have a bright future ahead.
You may enjoy this if you like: Human Leather, Lightning Bolt, Boris, Noxaagt
“Evil Spirits…” is out on 27th April. Listening link up when available.