Listening to ‘One Year’, the debut LP from Hagana, makes MPT want to rock a bit harder than normal – a fair bit harder than normal to be honest.
I first came across Hagana at the Birdhead LP launch last summer and what drew me in was not so much the hard rocking as the fact that they didn’t omit the melodies.
There’s no doubt that ‘One Year’ is influenced by the harder side of Nirvana and over the course of the record’s eleven songs Hagana definitely lean towards the loud rather than quiet dynamic. But crucially they also share Nirvana’s love for a good tune.
The variety on the record largely comes from slight variations in intensity and only the penultimate song ‘Friend’ comes close to the quiet/loud Nirvana formula, opening as it does with a rare sighting of acoustic guitars. It initially sounds like it’s taken from a completely different record but the change of pace is welcome.
Otherwise Hagana proceed at full throttle throughout. ‘Watch Your Step’ is the closest the album has to a pop song but on other tracks such as ‘Seaquest’ which the riffing melds with the tunes.
Ultimately for me a little more contrast would have helped the record a bit but, as it stands, ‘One Year‘’ rocks as hard as anything else I’ve heard in 2014 and is more than worth a listen.
‘One Year’ is available from the Hagana Bandcamp.
Here’s one of the tracks from the record: