Monday, November 19, 2012

Forgotten Gems: Hash Palace-Grit and Bear It


Last night I had dinner with my friend Suzanne. As we talked about the music of our youth
(as we are both close in age) we touched briefly on the nineties 
and I was reminded that I owed you, our faithful readers, 
a respectable write-up of Hash Palace.Despite the negativity that 
often times is associated with nineties rock (and rightly so)
there were more then a few really solid groups/ 
albums that emerged from that time period. Of course we all
know that in addition to 90's rock (which had it's own sound
just like 80's and 7o's rock did)the era was all about grunge.
While I have run into my fair share of people who hold a long-
standing grudge against the movement (all because one simple song,
"Smells Like Teen Spirit", killed off hair metal)I would gladly take
Nirvana, Soundgarden or Alice In Chains over some of what passed for
"metal" back in the day. While it might not be completely fair to
associate Hash Palace with the movement (sound-wise they not 
only owed a debt to 80's punk and hardcore, but 70's hard rock 
as well)as this album came out before the big explosion that 
"Nevermind" started they do admittedly have more in common with 
the post-Black Sabbath rock scene then any other scene of the time.  
There is not much to go by when it comes to the band (which I
found both weird and frustrating as the Internet seems to have 
information about even the most trivial/unimportant subjects)
as far as their history goes there is no doubt that Hash Palace
deserved a better fate. With a heavy sound that combines elements 
of not only grunge (more Tad-style grunge then Nirvana at that), 
but hardcore/punk (Misfits, The Butthole Surfers) and dirty 
garage rock (you can almost close your eyes and picture these guys
playing in some old bingo hall) Hash Palace seems as if they
should have easily been able to hold their own.I suspect that if 
you were to also label this psychedelic pseudo-heavy metal you 
probably wouldn't encounter much of an argument. With a vocalist 
that often-times sounds all the world like a (more) crazed version
of Glenn Danzig this is certainly an interesting album. At times
I imagine that this is what The Doors would have sounded like
if A)they had more then their fair share of acid to go around
and B)they had been served a healthy dose of Black Sabbath in
their formative years. Other times it comes off as Nirvana 
meets any number of defunct 80's punk bands. That is the 
sound of a band playing simply for themselves and not some
industry suit.It's hard for me not to appreciate to a band that 
is all the above while still have other moments where they employee 
this classic punk meets Jane's Addiction sound! Thankfully this
isn't one of those albums that you have to search high and low for.
I found this on the excellent site "I Hate The 90s" (link below)
before picking up a copy off of Amazon for under $5.00 (incl.
shipping!). I've provided a link for that as well for those of you
that prefer hard copies of albums. With bands like Hash Palace the
90s were not all bad. 

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home