If you thought H20's Go was a pretty abysmal disc, you're going to wince in agnoy once you hear Hazen St.
Hazen St is a "super-group" (if you want to call them that...) featuring Toby Morse of H20, Mackie Jayson of Cro-Mags, and Freddy Cricien of Madball (out of jail and ready to record). Now, without any prior knowlegde of the band, you would probably think that they would be a throwback to the NYC hardcore scene of the 80's, like H20 were and Cro-Mags and Madball were apart of. Upon further investigation however, you'll completely second guess yourself.
The first thing you'll wonder is why the band is opening for Good Charlotte on thier fall tour alongside Sum 41 and Lola Ray. Why would a band featuring three members who were previously in hardcore acts want to play their material in front of thousands of 13 year old girls? It doesn't add up. Even if they are friends with Good Charlotte, it certainly isn't going to make them look good in the eyes of fans of their previous material to open for them. Then once you to delve deeper into things, you'll really get confused. The band is having their cd released on a label called DC Flag, which is owned by Benji and Joel of Good Charlotte and is a division of Sony Records. Things just aren't adding up, how does an NYC-based hardcore act get on a major label like Sony in this day and age? Unless Hazen St are some kind of power-pop punk act like Good Charlotte, but no, that can't be!, look at their lineup...
...No, it is. Hazen St are a power-pop punk act, and this cd is an abomination. This disc is unarguably the worst peice of crap to hit store shelves since John Mayer's latest CD. This CD is so bad that it makes Bowling For Soup look like Bad Religion.
Maybe i'm being a bit harsh, but seriously, who is going to enjoy this CD? Fans of H20, Cro-Mags and Madball are going to Van Gogh their ears when they hear it, while the 13 year old Good Charlotte fans aren't going to like it because Toby and Freddy's voices are too "rough" for them. Everyone else will probably just laugh their asses off.
What does this CD sound like? It sounds like Toby gave a copy of Go to the guy who produced the Simple Plan CD and said "Have a field day!" This is painfully annoying and faintly ridiculous, overproduced power pop-punk that has not only been done one million times before, but was never very good to begin with. All the instrumentation on this disc is simplistic and cookie cutter, and each song has one of those chouses that seem to have Z100 written all over it.
What about the lyrics? If you like powerful, rousing lines like
"We lead but never follow / Not like you / And I will never live by your rules, no! / Your words to me are shallow / They're just like you"then you're gonna feel right at home. Everyone else who got sick of this kinda crap ever since it started showing up decades ago will just be bored, hopefully the majority of you are apart of the latter.
It also really makes me wonder how Toby and Freddy don't feel completely embarrassed singing songs like "Fool The World", "Sorry", and "All That". Even if you weren't fans of their previous work, you have to admit that they're capable of writing much better then any of this tripe. To go from being some of the most well recognized NYC hardcore acts to a band that is on the same level as Good Charlotte really has to make one stop and think. Maybe they just wanted to make a fast buck, either way I can't see anyone being proud of them for this. Listening to this disc is about as much fun as watching "Warped Wednesday" on FUSE staring The Starting Line.
If you're really curious to hear this record, please get it used or something. In the end you're probably only going to play it to laugh at it, and that alone isn't worth 14 bucks. What you end up with here is yet another power pop-punk band, but this time the vocals are ridiculous out of place. MTV may fool the kids into thinking that this is punk music, but they can't fool me.