Haymarket Riot is a band that pays homage to the days of yesteryear, forming their songs in a manner similar to early-1990s emo acts like Samiam and Fugazi, with hints of Cap’n Jazz. Their songs are angular, driving, somewhat melodic and surprisingly powerful.
Mog was recorded by the ever-busy Steve Albini. Consequently, Haymarket Riot sounds a lot chunkier than on previous efforts: the drums are fuller, the guitars grainier and the bass is more ringy. As Mog plays, older fans of indie music may recall the early-1990s Amphetamine Reptile catalogue, as Haymarket Riot conjures up the corpses of Hammerhead and Chokebore from time to time. At times, the singer sounds a bit like At the Drive In/Mars Volta’s main vocalist; his enunciation of certain words make me think that it is intentional.
For an old man like myself, I enjoyed hearing this type of 1990s “emo.” There’s more of an emphasis on the “rock” side of things, and a lot less of the overdone “emotions” that are championed by many of today’s “emo” heroes. Lacking the B.S. that currently goes along with being “emo,” Mog is a well-written, powerfully performed and fun album.