Review: Majhas

“Stepping Into Character”
(Hawthorne Street Records)

I never knew hardcore indie rock could get so pissed off.  Scattered and loud, with a beat driven straight through the middle, the guitars are in need of some therapy to find themselves.  But this is a good thing.
That sense of ‘barely-in-control’ works well for Majhas.  The vocalist thinks he’s in a hardcore band, but this unit is so much more than the influences they wear on their sleeves.  Majhas has a fascination with dissonance.  Between the assaulting songs, often the listen is dosed on ringing guitars, distorted feedbacks and instruments pounded on just to hear the reverberation wobble and fade… just to set up another attack of crawling, angry hardcore/indie/mathrock.

The band would be twenty times better with a singer that could match the diversity of the rest of the band, but he’s got the harsh scarping bark down well enough.  Lyric sheets are included.  Thanks.  What’s worth mentioning is the many drastic tangents the band is willing to indulge in (see the mellow indie pickings on the extended intro of ‘Nola Heat’ backed by a scratchy radio in the background) before the inevitable crash into something louder and most certainly aggressive.  And when it skulks around the indie rock territory more than the hardcore attack, that’s when these guys really shine.

Majhas does an admirable job of blending a lot together and making their own sound out of it, rather than just cut and pasting song parts together like so many of the indie/metal/hardcore hybrids.  It’s that ability to keep surprising you, without actually shifting gears into a whole new vibe that allows this unit to rise above the limitations put on the band by the singer.  It’s heavy.  It’s different.  It’s worthy.