Have a Nice Life Tour Review
Have a Nice Life burst onto the music scene with their groundbreaking album “Deathconsciousness” and has since released seven more tour albums.
Sea of Worry, their most energetic, defiant album to date, explores anxiety, fear, and the imminence of global destruction. For their 2023 tour, they will be joined by avant-doom project CONSUMER as well as one-man post-metal virtuoso Planning For Burial – two highly talented acts in their own right!
HANL’s Sea Of Worry
HANL’s latest album, Sea of Worry, finds them venturing into new terrain. Gone is the lo-fi tinnitus of their early work and replaced with a more structured approach while still embracing suicidal ideation and emotional discomfort aural aesthetics at a slower pace than previous LPs by them. This is not to say Sea of Worry lacks momentum; instead, it avoids their prior albums’ sometimes aimless spirals.
With greater emphasis placed on percussion and synths, their later works feature more refined sounds than their early works. “Dracula Bells,” their lead single, begins with a propulsive bassline that builds into an explosive bassline before collapsing over shimmering guitars reminiscent of Pere Ubu’s David Thomas; similarly, “Science Beat” employs similar elements with thrumming basslines and clipped vocals reverberated to produce an ambient effect instead of shouted choruses.
At the core of Deathconsciousness lies anxiety: dissolution, mortality, and existential angst are themes explored in this album. While Deathconsciousness’ grandiosity might have outshone it in this regard, Deathconsciousnos still tackles big ideas: faith is explored along with whether god exists and why humans suffer; these themes come to a head in 13-minute track “Destinos.”
HANL’s Death Consciousness
HANL’s debut is an atmospheric yet haunting journey through depression and death, drawn together through post [insert genre here], shoegaze, and black metal influences. From its haunting tones to Nine Inch Nail’s anthemic noises or Joy Division-esque vocals that feature plenty of reverb and distortion effects courtesy of Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga’s vocal effects, everything fits together seamlessly for an emotionally charged experience.
HANL isn’t content with simply recreating past successes; instead, they strive for innovation in every song that comes out. Songs like “Bloodhail,” “Waiting For Black Metal Records To Come In The Mail,” and the haunting beauty of “Hunter” make this album enjoyable yet depressing all at the same time. Chief songwriter Dan Barrett ensures there’s always something catchy going on that keeps your attention even during its heavier passages.
Since their 2008 debut album was released, HANL has gone on to produce two more records: 2014’s The Unnatural World and 2019’s Sea of Worry, while Barrett and Macuga have continued working on other projects such as Giles Corey and Black Wing as well as Consumer and The Flowers of St Francis solo efforts – but many will remain fondly remember their 2008 debut as one of sad relief.
HANL’s The Unnatural World
After the depressingly grim Death consciousness, HANL has toned down its aesthetic for 2014’s The Unnatural World. While still boasting their influences, this album feels less muddy and chaotic compared to their debut’s sudden, sonic outbursts; nevertheless, HANL still manages to create beauty within chaos.
On “Burial Society,” for instance, an opaque blackout only partially obscures a beautiful vocal melody that expresses resignation and anger. Meanwhile, in “An anguished throb silences Guggenheim Wax Museum,” industrial pneumatics – both works feature powerful silence.
This album is haunting, which should come as no surprise from a band that draws its inspiration from My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nail, Joy Division, and black metal music – not to mention drone background – creating something genuinely haunting – The Unnatural World was co-released between The Flenser and their own Enemies List Home Recordings label and proves just as captivating as its predecessor; an outstanding post-punk, rock, doom-fusion effort from an incredible group which must be celebrated over its growth throughout its evolution over its existence!
HANL’s Time Of Land
HANL is masterful at seamlessly fusing My Bloody Valentine’s fuzziest tones with Nine Inch Nail’s most aggressive noises and Joy Division’s sublime essence into one cohesive soundscape that leaves listeners stunned and satisfied. Their second album, Time of Land, showcases this skill perfectly but doesn’t hit as hard as Deathconsciouss did; rather it presents a more refined journey through tangible locatable space than Death Consciousness did – leaving an indelible mark that leaves listeners unsettled but leaves a lasting impression on listeners – reviewed by Darren J O’Connor from Irish Times Reviewer The Irish Times reviewer reviewed Time Of Land by leaving listener unsatisfied yet it leaves them speechless as time passed – reviewed by Darren J O’Connor for Irish Times Reviewer.
HANL’s The Black Wing
Dan Barrett, best known as the songwriter behind HANL and Giles Corey (both projects with powerful vocals that capture you with their emotive, passionate lyrics), has released his sophomore solo effort as Black Wing. Aiming away from guitar-driven music found on HANL to focus solely on electronics has produced an album that is more doom-inspired but that doesn’t compromise the emotionality or songwriting prowess that made his earlier works so captivating. His sophomore effort as Black Wing, entitled Is Doomed (available now on The Flenser). You can stream it below, although its depth may require patience!