Album Of The Week: Sensation by Haircut
Blistering to its core, the newest EP, Sensation, from punk quartet Haircut is nothing short of astonishing, serving as a welcome reminder to the imperative role punk serves in music’s modern identity.
Now, if you’re late to the Haircut riot and missed their explosive debut, Shutting Down, at the end of 2017, here are the only four things you need to know about the band, a tidbit for each member of the band if you will:
1. They play punk music.
2. They do it loud.
3. They do it fast.
4. Their lyrics are in English and Spanish.
That’s all you need to know, and all you’re going to know too, considering the significantly low-profile Haircut keeps online. So low is this profile, I imagine their fanbase consisting entirely of people who caught one of their ravenous sets at a house show by dumb luck… and the people they texted as soon as Haircut left the stage. Hyperbolic to a degree, considering the band does have some strong advocates (most notably Stereogum editor Tom Breihan), this imaginary scenario speaks more to just how great these four musicians are, so great that they are able to translate their stupefying live sets into stunning records, something most punk bands fall short of no matter what they do.
All in all, this is fundamental punk brilliance on full display over four songs that unfold in about six minutes, a fact that should intrigue any music fan, specifically those punk zealots still clinging to their first wave heroes.
And yes, Haircut exhibits all of punk’s hallmark traits on this EP, with tracks that don’t come close to over-staying their welcome despite their menacing sound that mauls with edge and pommels with speed. Each 60-100 second onslaught is overflowing with musical rage, but rage that feels particularly hardened, almost coagulated by the current state of affairs. And in this mindset, Sensation comes across especially significant considering the dual language it’s presented in. This isn’t some fiery weapon to use in a culture war though, more a reminder that language and background has never and will never be needed to discern talent, importance, and relevance, all of which Haircut flaunts on this EP.
The title track provides the most emphatic and compact punch of the record, delivering the best lyric of the record (“Sensation / Is that what you want?”) as well as the most thrilling breakdown. But really, each song is an extension of the other, doubling-down on the musical indignation and insolence Haircut effortlessly emanates.
Assertive. Dominant. Fearless. Haircut is this and more on Sensation, the best damn punk EP you’re going to listen to today. And you’re going to listen to it because music this spectacular is worth the meager six-minute sacrifice. So hit play and thank us later.
Sensation is out now, available now in digital and vinyl formats through Beach Impediment Records, which you can purchase by clicking here.