Sunday 26 July 2020

Album Review: HÄXAN - White Noise

Häxan - White Noise

01. Damned If You Do
02. Killing Time
03. Nine Lives
04. Grave Digger
05. Louder Than Words
06. Black Sheep
07. Crash And Burn
08. Skeletons
09. Living Dead

White Noise is the debut album from Wales' Häxan. They've been around for a while now, in fact they used to be called The Kix (not to be confused with the 80's Glam band Kix which I guess is why they changed their name), and the last few years of hard work and regular gigging have really paid off.

White Noise is a well written, masterfully performed, cohesive album. This is the sound of a band that has honed their craft over the years and are throwing a winning hand on the table. Todd Campbell's (Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons) top-level production has really made these songs shine and is the icing on the perfectly baked cake.

Musically, Häxan play a pretty straight-forward kind of Hard-edged Rock 'n' Roll, in a vein similar to classic Joan Jett or The Amorettes. What they have in their arsenal that makes them stand out from the pack is lead singer Sam's melodic vocals which have a richness and warmth that makes the hooks in the songs infectious. Look no further than the first video they released for the album, Skeletons, as the perfect example of this.

With only nine songs, White Noise doesn't stick around long enough to get dull or make the listener even consider hitting that skip button. There are no fillers and it's a great album to listen to in its entirety. If I had to pick favourites, I'd go for the opening powerhouse Damned If You Do, Killing Time (what a fucking riff!), the aforementioned Skeletons, and the wonderfully melodic and somewhat ethereal Living Dead.

Häxan have set the bar high with this release and I'm looking forward to whatever comes next. White Noise is certainly a highlight of 2020 and hopefully it will take them to the next level.


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