Hash

Hash

Elektra, 1993

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/12/2014

Ah, the joys of Goodwill! This disc, long out of print was found in a Virginia Goodwill and this reviewer instantly fell head over heels for it. Hash was formed by the former rhythm section of White Trash (best known for 1991’s “Apple Pie”) and frontman/guitarist Seth Abelson. The group got to work with producer Tom Werman, who is best known for working with Motley Crue and Dokken, and the result is one helluva record.

Mixing potent combinations of hard rock, alternative, Indian and Eastern music and quirky pop melodies, the band created a sonic brew that was instantly infectious. Each member – drummer Mike Caldarella, bassist Aaron Collins and Seth Abelson – gets their own showcases throughout the record. Tracks like “Twilight Ball” are very straightforward and set the pace for the rest of the record. As the album winds along, it starts to get more experimental and edgy: “Ghetto,” one of the greatest tracks here, whips along with breakneck drumming and monstrously impressive bass playing that backs up Abelson’s unbelievably talented guitar playing and dynamic, almost soulful singing. Crisp production throughout helps to bring the musicianship to the forefront.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Kit & Kaboodle” is one of those songs that on paper doesn’t look like it would work at all; it kicks off with a sitar intro and winds along as an acoustic little hootenanny but ultimately ends up as one of the catchiest songs on the record, one that will stick in your memory for quite a while. Quite a few of the songs end with quirky little instrumentals that show how weird and unique this trio was in the studio.

The closer “My Icy Death” is one of those songs that you either love or hate for its odd time signatures and funky bass playing. I happen to love it and the quirkiness manages to add to its distinct charm. The whole album is quite quirky, but that helps it to stand out from the other generic rock records that came out in 1993.

Unfortunately, with the shifting tides of the record industry, Hash was not long for this earth. After getting dropped from Elektra and calling it quits within a year of the album’s release, the members started different projects and stayed in touch. When White Trash reunited around 2008, a small cult had built around Hash and the songs are available on YouTube to check out and enjoy. It goes without saying but this is one of the most underrated records of the ’90s that is in need of a rediscovery.

Rating: B+

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