Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Album Review: Hater - The 2nd

The 2nd
Burn Burn Burn Records

3 of 10

RIYL: Wellwater Conspiracy, Desert Sessions, Listening to shitty albums.

Untuned guitars: Check.

Lo-Fi Four-track recording:Check.

Indecipherable vocals: Check.

Ten years after the Seattle super group (including Soundgarden's Ben Sheppard and Matt Cameron, Devilhead's Brian Wood, and original Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain) released its major label debut, Hater is back. But where their self titled debut was stocked with Nuggets- era inspired garage rock, The 2nd is a disappointment ten years in the making.

Allegedly, the bulk of these songs were recorded while Sheppard and Cameron were recording Superunknown with their day band, Soundgarden. These songs were then shelved, only to be recently dusted off and finished up.

There’s a reason these songs were shelved: they are incredibly disappointing, given what the band accomplished on its self-titled debut. Whatever was “finished” is largely unknown, as the songs on The 2nd sound like scraps of songs and half-baked vocal experiments sequenced to resemble an album.

Soundgarden/Hater fans are warned: ”Never lived up to our potential before our friendship died” sings Sheppard on one of the songs, and that about sums up this album. Where Hater’s self titled debut was dark, sarcastic, rocking fun, The 2nd is a depressing reminder of rock ‘n roll potential wasted.

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