Sunday, January 8, 2012

Deep Wounds: Band of the Week That You Should Know: Hiatus

One of the most difficult things about writing this article, I have come to the conclusion, is defining obscure. For you see, one man's cult act is another man's bread and butter: essentially their daily-ritual band. Thusly, this was the predicament I was faced with when choosing to do an article on Hiatus. If you ask any Mince band worth their salt, whose riffs and breaks they’re raping these days, this band will more than likely roll off of their tongue - along with the usual Unholy Grave, Agathocles and Rot references. Be that as it may, you don't hear the average grind fan talking up these Belgian Crust Grind legends nearly enough as much they deserve. And man, do they deserve it.

They first came onto the scene in 1989, just a few short years after the first wave of Grind ripped across the UK, around the same time as fellow Belgian punk Grinders Agathocles. Their impact was immediately felt in the crust punk scene, sadly however, they were somewhat overlooked by certain areas of the Grind world and to a large extend, still are to this day. They released a handful of demos before recording their now seminal, “I don't Scare Easily but...” E.P., which in my personal opinion was one of the defining points in their career; a career that spanned from the late 80's (Prime era Grind) to the mid-90's (Prime era Crust Punk). Hiatus were around long enough to fuck shit up but managed to be one of the 90’s crust bands to not overstay their welcome (No Diatribes to be found in their absolutely bullet proof Discography). They broke up in the prime of their careers, shortly after the completion of their self-titled mini LP released on Profane Existence.

Undeniably, Hiatus were right on time with their era in terms of sound, but they also managed to be slightly ahead of their time, considering the indisputable influence they had on a number of other mid-90's crust grind rippers. Their sound was an almost Pre-Disrupt Disrupt sound, and much tighter sounding than some of their peers at the time. There are some really great and unexpected time changes on most of their records. Their recordings are mostly of a very lo fi and blown out nature, it’s especially evident in the vocals. That said, I personally love to hear a voice break up/mike feedback into the recording, but if you’re a production snob, that may be the only thing you’d be able to knit pick about this band. Other than that, Hiatus should be every grindheads go to fix for raw-as-fuck crust grind and evolve from merely being part of the mince crowds’ playlists.

~Tommy Johnson

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