Music journalism can be fraught with tropes and clichés, so much so that even acknowledging this “fact” is itself, a cliché. The list is endless – a clogged drain filled to the brim with meaningless utterances that obscure any real meaning. One of the more popular of these is “they [the act] make it sound effortless”, What does that even mean? Typically, it’s meant with the best intentions – the act in question have made an excellent piece of work while making to look easy, without breaking a sweat. All rosy? No. More often than not, it’s ignorant of the amount of effort it takes to make something that is good. It’s filler – like talking about the weather with an estranged uncle who is a little too drunk at a family party (how’s that for a cliché!). Instead of this, let’s celebrate the effort and little details. Enter, Brighton four-piece Haters.
It would be easy to describe the four tracks of Haters’ Chronic EP, which they’ve just released via the lovely folks at Everything Sucks Music, as “effortless”. However, to do so would be missing out on the depth on show. The songwriting across the whole release is excellent. Stretching from ‘Stomach Ache’s manifesto for personal progress year after year, to ‘Chronic’s call to accept that thing sometimes things are going to go a bit awry, listening to these songs feels like have an intimate conversation with a close friend – warm, supportive, free of caveats and emotionally earnest. Not an easy feat to pull off. On top of this, Haters have a canny knack of being able to write about complex topics in a simple and engaging manner – an airing of grievances that you can’t help but get involved in.
Of course, this is all aided by how good Haters are as a band. Self-described as “trashy, pop-punk”, their Chronic EP exhibits an energy seldom seen on early releases. On ‘Brave’, Haters have crafted an exquisite earworm – seemingly taking Abba’s rule of five melodies per song as gospel as Jo and Gabe’s interlocking guitar thrash and jangle. Yet ‘Drinkin’ Beers With Phil’ is where Haters really shine. Throughout the track, Haters twist and turn – moving through the gears from a head-bopping bass line to an exhilarating chorus. It’s a track where the Brighton four-piece display their individual skills and talents as musicians, yet is ultimately focused as a collective. In short, Haters show themselves to be a band in control of their own power, a band who have worked hard at making their music the best it can possibly be – the product of honing and hard-work.
Chronic is a wonderful addition to Haters already sterling back-catalogue, four songs that promise and deliver so much. From what is on display here, Haters are definitely a band to keep close tabs on.
Get Chronic on baby pink vinyl or download here.