Angel Hair - Pregnant with the Senior Class (Cover Artwork)

Angel Hair

Pregnant with the Senior Class (1997)


Angel Hair was a five-piece from Colorado whose music would grow to be associated with the chaotic, inventive San Diego scene of the early nineties. Bands such as Heroin, Antioch Arrow, Swing Kids, Clikitat Ikatowi and Mohinder are good reference points, but Angel Hair had a unique intensity that not even their West Coast peers could match. Pregnant with the Senior Class, put out on the prolific Gravity Records, is the band's entire discography, spanning an LP, an EP and material from several splits.

Listeners are treated to 18 cuts of crazy, unrestrained, screamy hardcore. Starting with their final release, the LP, and working backwards, Pregnant with the Senior Class showcases a mix of dissonant yet catchy guitar work with a variety of tempos. Songs such as "Land Ov Enchantment," "Pre-Supermodel" and "Witch Hunt Scene from Star Trek" reach blinding speeds, whereas songs such as "This Stool Is Cool," "You Were Ugly But You Got Cute Again" and "Lazy Eye" stay at an infectious mid-ranged pace. Some of the most interesting moments in the album are when the band takes a break from writing fast songs; slower tracks such as "The Wax Museum," "Bedroom Scene from Communion" and "Crash Course" allow for the band's amazing songwriting skills to shine through.

Angel Hair's two guitarists would layer dissonant harmonies to create eerie, yet catchy riffs. This was complemented by an energetic flurry of drums; the drum work on most of these songs is fast and erratic, similar to many of the Gravity bands of the early `90s. Vocalist Sonny Kay (who went on to run GSL) delivers an unforgettable mix of sardonic, angry shouting and throat-shredding, vicious screaming. This may be a bit of a turnoff to some people, but the vocals definitely help the band stand out.

Many sources on the internet categorize Angel Hair as "emo" or "screamo" due to their connections with some of the pioneering bands. However, Angel Hair's attitude and lyrical content is a far cry from Indian Summer, Portraits of Past and other bands that are generally associated with the term. Lyrics have a nonsensical, stream-of-consciousness feel to them, often with a scatological bent. Take the following lines from the song "New Rocket": "I sell ice to Eskimos when I'm not selling ass to assholes / I sell ice to Eskimos and like the cut makes the blood so the pork makes the pig show."

Some of you may wonder if this album deserves such a high score. After all, it would seem odd to bestow a relatively short-lived and obscure band with five stars. But make no mistake: Angel Hair's music has a certain unforgettable quality that places it in the canon of hardcore classics. Pregnant with the Senior Class is a vicious, surreal and surprisingly exhilarating maelstrom of San Diego-styled hardcore, and it is certainly one of best CDs Gravity has put out. This diamond in the rough is highly, highly recommended for fans of chaotic hardcore.