Her Majesty’s Hangover is a group hailing from Melbourne, Australia. They’re a lively bunch, but that’s a bit of an understatement. They’ve been around for years without releasing any albums or playing any shows (a.k.a. not existing, in essence), but they’ve finally exploded onto the scene. They’ve played a heap of gigs, dropped a self-titled EP, and here they are. They pride themselves on being “one take wonders”, and they did a great job if that’s the case.
Their self-titled 5-track debut EP opens with "Not The One". It’s driven by a fuzzy, distorted, shoegaze-esque rhythm that slowly grows and explodes into something that is anything but shoegaze. An electrifying riff that somehow evokes raw power and the urge to mosh is the centrepiece of this punk-fuelled track. The vocals screech and shout indiscernible things.
I found myself daydreaming and imagining myself watching these guys live; I’d be jumping up and down maniacally if I wasn’t sitting at my desk. It’s rare that I feel that live “punk” energy in a studio recording, but these guys captured it. It was mainly an analogue recording, so that probably has something to do with it. There was something very raw and very real about these guys. They’re well worth the listen. I think I made out one lyric, which was: “Punch your face.” I might be mistaken, but, in any case, I think it summarises what these guys are all about pretty well.
"Falsely Accused" is driven by a catchy bass rhythm with bursts of electrifying electric guitar. There’s a vicious battle between alternating power chords and the vocalist’s screeching chants. I liked this to and fro. There were also infectious little riffs and solos shoved in here and there to add a little diversity and power to the track. These guys certainly got me pumped about hardcore punk music again, and it’s been a while since I’ve heard a band from that genre that I actually enjoyed. They just have so much energy.
‘No Money’ opens with an unexpected change of pace. It’s driven by a punchy but restrained drum beat and clean electric guitar chords. It’s upbeat and frantic but simultaneously… soft. That’s something I didn’t think I’d see from these guys, but they do it really well.
The screeching vocals something merge well with softer instrumentals. Of course, it’s all a trick; the choruses are filled with fuzzy, distorted, furious guitars and louder vocals. I liked this variation, though. Her Majesty’s Hangover have proven that they can do the “loud-quiet” dynamic just as well as straight-up, straightforward punk rock. They didn’t want all 5 tracks to sound identical on this EP, and that’s got me excited about the potential for their sound to develop further in the future.
‘Cones’ was driven by a fuzzy riff and a throbbing tom-heavy drum beat. The vocals were the most captivating thing about this track; I could actually make out what was being sung/shouted at first, and that wasn’t something I expected from these guys. They sing that “We all have problems, my child / Still, I don’t wanna listen to you argue”, and it’s all indiscernible after that. Still, it paints a picture about the general theme of the track… I think. It’s meant to be a little chaotic and confusing; that’s Her Majesty’s Hangover’s style. I like them for that.
All in all, I had a lot of fun listening to this EP. They’re a vibrant band, and that’s something the guitar-band scene really needs now. They’ve brought an old genre back to life and shown that rock isn’t old and outdated. It can still be loud and abrasive; it doesn’t all have to be pop-orientated.
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