Hater - Hater album review

Seattle supergroup’s blissed-out debut

Hater album cover

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With their name something of a misnomer (musically at least; inside they might have been seething), Hater’s 1993 debut caused a minor stir at the time as it united Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden with Brian Wood, brother of Mother Love Bone’s deceased singer Andrew.

As it was recorded in the years between Soundgarden’s albums Badmotorfinger and Superunknown, you’d be forgiven for expecting a neo-heavy metal freak out, but Hater’s debut goes straight back to the garage. It’s lean, finger-clicking stuff with hints of the The Kinks, MC5 and early Doors. The psych factor is high too; if anyone in this band tells you they didn’t go on stage wearing paisley, then they’re probably lying.

The album opens with Cat Stevens’s Mona Bone Jakon, which makes perfect sense in this company, but the band really come to life on songs like the insouciant Tot Finder, a tripped out tale of that old rock’n’roll staple, looking for girls.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.