Haq123 are machine-like in their productivity. ‘More…’ is, incredibly, their fifth album in five years. Even more incredibly, it’s their third since April 2020. That’s three albums released during the coronavirus pandemic!
The lockdowns put a halt to the musical activities of so many others, so to have upped their level of output in this period is remarkable.
Even more impressive is the growing quality of each release, and ‘More…’ is no exception.
There is a marked maturity in Millie’s lyricism here and also a much more focussed approach. There is only one track among the 13 here that breaks the 3 minute mark. Each one is a clinically executed vignette of Dave’s filthy bass riffing and Zac’s increasingly impressive drumming. These are sky high solid stone walls of sound and there’s no let up.
Millie, as ever, is the wildcard, adding the extra special ingredient. She takes the band from being a super proficient noise rock band into something altogether more unique. Her bloodcurdling screams on ‘Oblivion’, in particular are a joy.
They revel in many of the tropes that are beginning to become their signature.
The demonic robot vocals on ‘The More’ add a darkly cartoonish aspect to the brutal doomy low end rumble. Haq123 haven’t forgot how to absolutely rock out. ‘Human Remains’ is a high energy blast with some of the best wordplay on the album “Only the human remains remain!”
The subject matter is incredibly dark throughout. Coming from the mouth of a child it’s all the more powerful. ‘Day Trip to Ogmore’ is so dark it’s like a metal version of the “chopped up man” Blue Jam sketch.
The riffs are impactful throughout, dragging melodies through thick, muddy fuzz, while Millie’s synth drifts over the top on tracks like ‘Fly Harmer’.
The ultra low end groove of ‘Richie’, while it is ultimately repetitive, is so good you’d end up with neck ache from compulsively nodding to it.
Those maniacal vocal effects return on ‘Build ‘Em Up’ which verges on the intensity of Lightning Bolt before ‘Crying Screamers’ delights with a riff that shares more than a little in common with Ohio Players’ ‘Love Rollercoaster’. Of course, in Haq123 style, it’s turned up to 11 and absolutely rips. The drums are expressive, playing with and around the groove.
They’re still up for pulling surprises.
The almost dubby ’Th’Ole’ switches live drums for glitchy electronics half way through, transforming into something altogether more euphoric.
Simply every track on ‘More…’ is a banger. Haq123 are growing up fast and, for my money, this is their most focussed, consistent and best album yet.
You may enjoy this if you like: Boris, Lightning Bolt, Sunn 0)))