After releasing two albums in 2018’s ‘Challenger’ and 2020’s ‘Common Sense Holiday’, two piece Haggard Cat now release their first ever EP ‘Cheer Up’. Having left their label, Haggard Cat have gone the DIY route and that ethos didn’t stop with the recording. Just check out the video for ‘Amateur Dramatics’ which sees the band playing in a rotating room and know that they even created the set themselves.
Previous single ‘Quit Your Jobs’ kicks the EP off and it is a juggernaut. With whirlwind riffs played over hammering drums, it seems to borrow from blues and garage rock but if they were both thrown in a blender and blasted on full. ‘Amateur Dramatics’ seems to get off to a slightly calmer start with a chugging riff that wouldn’t be out of place on a Queens Of The Stone Age album. Still there’s something menacing lurking underneath and you can’t help but feel that it’s not long until it explodes. When the chorus hits, it hits hard. As Matt Reynolds screams “try not to panic”, it’s hard not to when everything is turned up to eleven. ‘Water Me Down’ and ‘Fucking TV’ keep this intensity up with Haggard Cats blend of garage blues and hard rock. ‘Cow’ rounds off the EP leans more towards punk with the hammering, rapid fire drums and screeching guitar layered under angry lyrics that scream “For all intents and purposes I’m now just a cow so milk me”.
If ‘Cheer Up’ is how Haggard Cat sound with no constraints then it’s a shame it didn’t happen sooner. As Matt screams “just give me six more songs” on ‘Fucking TV’ I can’t help but feel the same.