After twenty years gathering dust, Little 10 have released their work in a digital format. Just as we did when we found an old Macromedia Flash file containing some Brussel Spaceship tracks, we unleashed Haski-Coast on our speakers to see how well it has weathered two decades.
Simply put, it’s done rather well. Storm clouds gather for their rich blend of grunge and metal with a firm touch for melody. It’s somewhere between System of a Down, Therapy?, and Soundgarden, dropping between chugging verses twisty chorus lines and blistering intense instrumental sections.
There’s something about ‘My Keepers Look’ that sucks you in. A subtle complexity to the chord changes and a near-perfect bass tone that keeps the song anchored. The unexpected lies around every corner, with the song diverging from the early format for a dark screaming metal mid-section. This is the audio-equivalent of the Overlook Hotel, with every turn in the corridor anticipating something new.
‘Black Pales Grey’ is a slow burner with a neat rhythm that pushes the verses along at a slow march as the song builds into an understated chorus. Once again, the song shoots off in unexpected directions – something of a signature move from Little 10 where they shun the formula and add multiple breaks and bridges to shake it up.
There is something Thirst-like in ‘Early Next Year’, a wall of guitars and an impressive plaintiveness to the vocal that gives way to a sparkling quiet bridge that builds just a little before a short pause. The pause is the deep intake of breath before the explosive epic refrain. When that moment of silence hits, you kinda know what’s coming, but when they land it, it’s a goose bumps moment.
Each time you think the song is about to be a bit more standard, something edgy happens. ‘Drift Relief’ lulls you into a false sense of structure before tipping you off balance with a rhythmic push. Closer ‘Feed the Birds at Haski Coast’ has flickers of Redefine with it’s dark melodic/screaming combo, it has such echoes of Thedaisychaincycle – but with a more rounded and polished sound.
Thematically, the songs all fit neatly into the same sonic space. There is such a scatter of ideas of changes that each song represents internal diversity while the collection is surprisingly coherent. This is a great EP.