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Detroit, Michigan, United States
I'm a punk rock guru from Detroit. Part skinhead, part crusty, part metalhead, part hardcore kid, part party kid, 100% punk rocker.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Band profile: Hash Blazer

Hash Blazer hails from the culturally rich, poverty-stricken wasteland of Detroit, following yet surpassing former local heavyweights Halloween, Ugly But Proud, and Heresy.  While most often a three-piece, they are amidst toying with a quartet, sharing vocal duties between the two mainstays, drummer Louie and guitarist Kyle.  The band started in mid to late 2010, just months after the demise of former sludge band Stabbed in the Face.  This time, these two former members of that band decided to take a brand new direction musically- they went towards metal; more specifically, a mix between New Wave of British Heavy Metal and traditional thrash.  Little over one year after their formation, the band has opened for the likes of Destruction, Hellbastard, and Upsidedown Cross, not to mention having recorded a stellar demo, now this…
The band is a perfect example of moderation between influences and originality in music; yes, traces of many bands come to mind listening to Hash Blazer, but they don’t sound like a single one of them.  Coming from the perspective of a 80s hardcore and peace punk worshipper, I really respect a band capable of effectively walking this line.
Still, influences play a part in the lives of the ‘Blazer.  In the drums, one can hear traces of Motorhead, Sodom, very early black metal, and Hellbastard; lots of double bass, consistent energy, and a few metal breakdowns.  No two songs sound the same with these drums.  In the guitars, there’s a considerably wider spectrum:  Diamond Head, Iron Maiden, Teutonic thrash, Megadeth, Painkiller-era Judas Priest, Exodus, Armored Saint, and even a little Slayer.  There’s no limit to the array of riffs and licks that can be used, and the band uses many of them to create a sound to call their own.  The vocals are not so easily pinned down; primarily melodic and clear-sounding, this is a breath of fresh air in an era of barks, growls, and annoying cacophonous screams and utterances seemingly dominant in today’s metal and punk bands.  Both singers/ band members take from the sounds of Armored Saint/ John Bush, Diamond Head/ Sean Harris, Iron Maiden (both Paul and Bruce), Megadeth/ Dave Mustaine, and even from cheesy 80s hair metal bands a la W.A.S.P., Motley Crue, Dokken, and the like.  In short, the band is that very evasive mix between melody/ rhythm and natural aggression in singing.  In this age of indecipherable singing, the band takes an undeniable step outside the box, for the better.
Though it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what Hash Blazer sounds like and there’s no one band to offer a near perfect or side-by-side comparison, they certainly fit well with a number of bands, all the while carving a unique path.  However, imagine Megadeth circa 1985-1992, playing Sodom’s music with a unique tinge, with John Bush in the early days of Armored Saint.  Even that is only a shell of what Hash Blazer is and represents.
They hash, they thrash, and goddamn it, your head will whiplash!
Full length album “Welcome to Detroit Destruction” to be released on Pirated Records in late 2011/ early 2012

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