Under Review

Hag Face


Psychic Handshake; 01/09/2015

An uprising is underway: it’s filled with women fearlessly wielding their instruments, unafraid to express themselves. Like it was ripped right out of a nightmare, atmospheric sludge soaked in banshee screams and weighted bass lines send chills running down spines, and it feels fantastic. Though Hag Face have only been around for roughly three years, they’re garnering some well-deserved attention for their third and latest LP, R.I.P. It’s hardly surprising news for these newcomers considering the recent spike in bands dropping beached out vibes for doom and gloom, such as L.A. Witch, Cherry Glazerr and local favourites, Lié. This new interest in old school rock, reminiscent of early Black Sabbath, is awakening something primal — reminding us that music genres are not gender specific.

The album opens with “The Count I” which wastes no time pounding out a solid fifty-eight seconds of ear splitting vocals, aggressive drums and a notable shift in production quality from their previous release — don’t worry, the lo-fi still emerges from the record. R.I.P. has proven Hag Face to be outfitted with talented musicians, who are only improving and gaining more of that spirit that rising bands need  

Up next is “Worst Nightmare,” a testament to Hag Face’s ability to create explosive, thrashing carnage that could only be associated with the hellish pits of a full bodied night terror. The album trudges on with intensity, then is abruptly put to rest with “Old Hag’s” drawling, fuzzed out guitars and spooky vocals that again, are reminiscent of Sabbath and the early 70’s birthing of heavy metal. The slow tempo doesn’t last long though and the song ends in a fury of distortion and the animalistic beating of a drum kit. What lyrics that can be made out amongst the wailing are despondent and unnerving. “Someone is in my living room, a presence in the darkness” is sung with anguish. A scene is set: a woman and an unwelcome companion, the woman is unsure if this presence is a figment of her imagination or not. It’s creepy, but oddly intriguing.

The overall theme of R.I.P. seems to be torn between general dissatisfaction and intense disconcerting visuals created through provocative words and fierce rhythms. It’s brooding lyrically and musically, and shackles its listeners with addictive and powerful energy, proving that Hag Face aren’t slowing down anytime soon.