by Kris Handel (@khandel84)
Hash Redactor is a four-piece from Memphis that has roots in Ex-Cult and Nots, but on their full-length debut Drecksound there is a little bit more freedom and room to breath than those bands previous works. Drecksound features some fantastic bass work from Meredith Lones that powers many of the tracks through a strong bottom end or elastic and bouncing runs interspersing crisp distortion laced guitar work. Though grounded in familiar post-punk structures Hash Redactor breathe and flow as one and mix chaotic energy with a studied yet free aesthetic that refuses to be contained.
Hash Redactor truly shine in some of the less compact tracks that allow the band to stretch out a little and feature some fantastic rhythmic interplay laying the groundwork for Alec McIntyre’s reverb drenched vocals. “In the Tank” is a perfect example of how the band manipulates space to fantastic effect as Lones’ bass slides and dives around alternating blasts of distortion and well placed relatively clean guitar leads. The contrasts the band mixes in create an extremely interesting soundscape that is made even more effective by McIntyre’s gravelly croak. “Floral Pattern” is a loping exercise where Lones’ bass is pushed to the fore bouncing out a playful and incessant melody that the drums of Charlotte Watson weave in and out of exceptionally well as the guitars throw out distortion to bring another layer of noise.
Drecksound is also full of intense and tightly coiled punk bursts that recall some of the finer moments of the member’s other projects that will lend a sense of familiarity to the record. “Open Invite” is a ferocious burst of energy and drive that has some fantastic rapid-fire drum fills. There is a bit of an early Big Black/Touch and Go feel with Lones firing off well placed runs that intertwine with Watson’s fills that speaks to a fantastic musical connection. “Down the Tubes” features some screaming guitar work blanketing McIntyre’s forceful howl that is a blast of very controlled impressive chaos.
Hash Redactor have managed to find a balance between ferocious burst of punk energy and the ability to expand and play off each other in entertaining fashion. Drecksound manages to vary its musical approaches so things never get tiresome or overworked which creates a welcoming atmosphere that is greatly appreciated. McIntyre and company manage to add some more space and spontaneity than fans of their other projects may be accustomed to but lose none of the ferocity and energy in their performances. This LP is a welcome entry into the catalogue of Goner Records and it’s fierce yet playful pummeling record that serves as a great introduction to a relative newcomer to the Memphis music scene.