Hazerai | Album of the Month | Indy Week
Pin It

Hazerai 

The 911852618 EP
(Cape & Chalice)

Listen!

If you cannot see the music player below, download the free Flash Player.

click to enlarge 11.7musreviews_hazerai.gif

Between last year's The Castle EP and this year's The 911852618 EP, Chapel Hill trio Hazerai became a different band. Well, sort of: The members remain the same, but bassist Adam Kish relocated to guitar while vocalist and guitarist Steve Wright moved to bass. Drummer John Crouch remains behind the kit, but—with the frontline flipped—his rhythms, like the band itself, evince a newfound precision that makes each Hazerai 2.0 track feel like a cinematic race for a prize through a minefield.

The differences here stem largely from technique: Whereas Wright added wide, almost tectonic sweeps to Hazerai's walloping fuzzy math with the guitar, Kish's six strings etch meticulous, intricate maneuvers that turn prickly twists of phrase into controlled-mess melodies. On last year's highlight "Rell Ghosts Break In," Hazerai washed an instrumental midsection in distorted long tones, down-beat pounding and feedback whispers. Kish holds things closer to the band's center, favoring short phrases and less distortion, and the band meets his challenge. Opener "Relay Replay" is split into two sections, and Crouch forges from one to another with a 20-second drum roll, his brio giving the rest of the band a lofty platform. They use it to land one of the album's heaviest salvos, mechanized rhythms slamming down like a leaden ball against concrete.

Wright's whiplike, mid-range bassline during "Racing Berbers" comes split by Kish's tiny, high-register guitars, supplying a clever volley/return momentum. Hazerai capitalizes on that antiphonal tension by faking a coda, going silent after two minutes only to return punchier. Bass, voice and drums trade bars with the guitar, eventually uniting in a defiant, concluding march.

Just a year ago, it's something Hazerai would have busied or blurred. But 911852618 fits the same number of songs as Castle (four) into four less minutes, even though things don't seem truncated or cursory. Directed by parts with more aim, more simply fits into less. At 150 seconds, "Racing Berbers" is a slender alleyway into closer "This Night," an almost martial bark-and-drum track. Wright's voice, captured better by Nick Petersen the second time around, mixes commando orders with amphetamine squeals, and it leads the way here: Raging about a party that didn't end well, Wright screams, "This night is shut shut it/ shut!" The instruments slash into and out of his words, bonding a strong, angular frame like pieces of Wire. Solid construction, for sure.

Hazerai plays Sunday, Nov. 11, at The Reservoir with Grappling Hook and Arks at 10 p.m.

Latest in Album of the Month

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Album of the Month



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Thanks for explain chaz . i really like and Damn! need it. Is this only provided in Bull city only …

by thaman1 on Des Ark's Live on WXDU: Volume Two (Album of the Month)

Excellent, excellent review. Really: great job.

by tqvc on Horseback's The Invisible Mountain (Album of the Month)

yeah! another husband/wife guitar/drums duo! love the sound these two have. try this one too: http://www.3feetup.com

by 3 feet up dot com on Birds & Arrows' Starmaker (Album of the Month)

First thing's first, I think this is the album of the year. One great song after another. Just the right …

by cotafloata on Midtown Dickens' Lanterns (Album of the Month)

Love this band... I've been waiting to come across a full-length version, as I used to spin (and still would …

by Beards Make Men on The Love Language's The Love Language (Album of the Month)

Comments

Thanks for explain chaz . i really like and Damn! need it. Is this only provided in Bull city only …

by thaman1 on Des Ark's Live on WXDU: Volume Two (Album of the Month)

Excellent, excellent review. Really: great job.

by tqvc on Horseback's The Invisible Mountain (Album of the Month)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation