self-titled (self-released)

Reviewed by Shaun Dale

They call it "southern chant rock," but the sound of this quartet, now based in Southern California, owes nearly as much to the New England jamband scene of their native Connecticut and environs as it does to the Dixie roots they give props to, such as the Allmans, the Black Crowes and Gov't Mule. They dig a little deeper into the blues, and rock a little harder than average, but their overall style would fit right in at High Sierra or any of the other jam festivals that pop up each year.

That is, of course, a good thing in my view. It's a style of music I like a lot when it's done well, and Hacha does it very well indeed. They're song-oriented, avoiding the tendency to slip into endless, pointless explorations of "the groove," which moves them several steps toward the head of the class, and they're capable players. One of their most distinguishing characteristics, though, is that they're a very tight unit, weaving four pieces so seamlessly that the net effect sounds much fuller than the lineup suggests.

Part of that comes from their background as childhood friends, part of it comes from a dedication that has kept them gigging regularly since they formed the band in 1997 despite the fact that they ended up attending separate colleges, and part is their dedication to live communally in southern California while they try to break out of the northeast regional scene that has provided both nurture and limitation up to now.

With their first southwest tour lined up and some quality LA showcase dates on the calendar, Hacha has the talent and material, and should soon have the exposure, tohave a major impact. This is another one of those rare chances to say "Oh yeah, I heard 'em when...." Don't miss out.

Track List:

The Slip * Borrowed Time * What About Bob * Her Eyes * Ladia Mine * Concubine * Orange You Glad * Take A Bow * Long Wake Up

[Pick this up at CDBaby.]

2002 - Shaun Dale