Acid Hags are a Croatian band made up of Tomislav Poje on drums, Aleksandar Vrhovec on guitars, and Borna Ilić on bass. Wild is a concise but hard-hitting collection of tracks that bring together the raw energy of rock and roll with something uniquely expressive and fresh.
Boiled Knives is the opener and crashes onto the scene with authenticity and vibrancy combined – giving off an impressively captivating instrumental journey to start the experience with. It feels very much like a live jam session, loaded with in-the-moment emotion, yet those drops back to the tightness and unity are flawless. Creativity and skill fuse well on this, a great way to begin the project. A chaotic yet soulful solo sees things through to the end in a manner slightly reminiscent of Hendrix for me. A live show would be insanely entertaining.
Tanker takes things down more of an experimental pathway, the band toy with the sounds of the world, creating around you an audio experience that delicately draws attention and provokes thought. It sets an interesting scene. The band aren’t afraid to utilize space and time on this record, a rare trait, so you get something really unique and fascinating unfolding. The track evolves to be again quite organic sounding, and beautiful at the same time. An early indication of their eclecticism and varied influences. Towards the end of this near seven minute journey the music meanders in its own freely expressive way. That freedom is quite addictive.
Misanthrope sees the pace fly high again, an energizing yet totally new sounding track pours through – the riff feels satisfying in the way that a long forgotten hit might be, but undoubtedly this bass-line and this progression doesn’t remind me of anything much at all. The band offer so much colour and passion in their performances. The whole experience feels like a wild, emotional roller-coaster through life and all of its trials and tribulations.
Scared Mosquito sees a gentle indie-rock anthem emerge, contrast works well and the higher tones of the opening guitar riff create a new mood. As is the case elsewhere, the title provokes a certain unusual way of thinking – you wonder what inspired it, what the story-line is, whether metaphor is involved and what that really means. The journey is likely to be slightly different for every listener, as is the power of music, instrumental music in particular. This track is rather entrancing in its meeting of the chaotic and the calm.
Structurally the band consistently showcase an understanding of movement and evolution with their tracks. Whenever you’re tempted to feel complacent, like you know the formula, each track will soon flip things over and re-invent itself in a manner that re-captures your attention.
Fungicide is a striking and quite haunting, experimental outpouring that presents raw angst and volume and detail in spiraling, cascading showers. The psychedelic element brings something new to the stage, the audio toys with your head-space before settling into something thick and distorted and wonderfully nostalgic.
The added joy of this project is that it feels, for the most part, like a live show is taking place right there in the room with you. There’s a vintage crackle to the recording style that adds to the authenticity, and so with this comes an influx of detectable emotion that makes it all extremely human and endearing.
Bon Appétit brings the journey to an end with softness and beauty once again. The drum-line is superbly unique, not something we often notice as much as we should, the contrast here between the relentless energy of the drum and the delicately expressive guitars is hugely effective. A great way to end the album and a final reminder that a live show would make for a memorable night out.