Remember when music was ugly, despicable and repulsive? Nirvana glamorized it. Eyehategod and Buzzoven disfigured it beyond recognition. Music played with anguish, desperation and hate. No shine, no polish, just greasy notes buried in mud, crust and chaos. Violence thrusting forth, screams of the depraved slaves. Haggatha captures this lost art with pure dissonance and disregard for anyone’s eardrums. Dirgy scowls and a raw slow grinding of the bowls. They are creating Vancouver’s ugliest music as they staple beer goggles to your ears and force you to fall in love with them.
East Vancouver is where Haggatha call home in their bong water stained jam space. A more fitting place to call home cannot be more justified. The grit and grime of the hood provides the perfect backdrop to their sunny disposition. “We keep the good times out of our tunes; it’s gross, ugly music,” guitarist/vocalist Braden Decorby decries. Originally founded in 2006 by guitarist Trevor Logan’s love for sludge thrived metal. “After watching (local band) Goatsblood, I just wanted to start a band really bad. And eventually we all sort of ran into each other and started playing music together,” Logan ponders. Early member shifts aside, it’s been a steady lineup since 2009 with Logan, Decorby, Phil Misquitta playing bass/vocals and local legend Matt Wood on drums.
The disparity of Haggatha’s music can only be compounded vocally with wailing misfortune. “A lot of our lyrics are about the ugly shit you see living in Vancouver. Seasonal depression. Cycles of the universe,” Decorby explains.
“Ancient civilizations on the backdrop of an urban shit pit,” Misquitta chimes in bluntly.
These boys are a busy bunch indeed. With multiple European and Canadian tours under their belt, the torment runs rampant. Haggatha has three twelve-inches (I, II, III) and one seven-inch (IV) released on various independent sludge based record labels. Look for labels like: Choking Hazard, Dry Cough and Graan Republiek for all your Haggatha needs. There is also a cover of the Wipers on a compilation called “Play Slow, Die Fast” released by Blind Date Records. As for new releases, a seven-inch split with U.K. band Muloch will be released before the New Year.
So keep your head on a spindle. My suggestion is to catch these cats live. They punish and rip gizzards. There is really no rest for the ugly.
Haggatha play the Astoria on Oct. 26 with Wolverspent, Adduara and Harrow. Catch them again at the Astoria on Nov 1. with Mortals, Dead Again, and Astrakhan.
By Heath Fenton
Photo: tiina liimu