Live review from Underground 106:
2. I See It
6. Capri no. 2
Second up were Hazden, returning to The Underground’s stage after a long hiatus. They’ve been around for a long time, and so they’ve been through the typical line-up changes shifting of band-members around that comes with that fact. I happen to have heard them a few times during this period, and am happy to report that it doesn’t appear to have suffered many problems from this fact, as the band’s sound and energy hasn’t been negatively affected by this. Their very first song announced them in perfectly – they are a band that like a big metal sound, with a little bit of drama and a little dread thrown in. Their set that followed played this out without being boring, which tends to be hard to do for metal bands, so full marks to them for pulling this off. (Also their guitarist was wearing something that looked very much like a semi-dress, which was also interesting.)
They do have one issue, which is that singer Faye’s voice, while notable, tends to be inconsistent from gig to gig, and their songs are demanding on the throat, and require vocal integrity to be maintained, as they have a lot of very high-pitched extended transitions. This night, however, was generally a good night for her, and aside from a few songs that appeared to be composed outside of her range (which can be remedied by a few sessions of rethinking, if they wish), she was rather good. Which isn’t surprising, because her voice is rather good – clean and strong, it puts me in mind of Amy Lee and Liz Phair at the same time, and it suits their style of metal quite well. Just, maybe, cut down on the outlying high notes, and they could have a non-jarring vocal performance all the way through.
I See It was a more minimalistic song, broody in the vein of Garbage, with a chorus nicely structured to show off Faye’s strengths and its concluding high note being satisfyingly built up to, and an almost atonal (in bits) guitar solo mixed with Paul Gilbert-y pentatonic riffing.  mixed textured guitars with shreddy guitars in a manner reminiscent of the Lostprophets’ second album.  saw the bassist join in, and took on a much more classic rock feel, but moved back over into the sustained-note-holding pattern when Faye sang (perhaps an interesting contrast between composition styles); I did feel, though, that it could’ve been shortened by quite a bit as it got repetitive towards the end. Capri no. 2 was a more poppy, with perhaps the best vocals of the night, played with an Yngwie Malmsteen palate on guitar, which was a great way to close out the set.
– Shashwati Kala
Live Review from Underground 90:
2. I see it
3. All I need
Before starting this review I wanted to know why they called themselves ‘Hazden’. Apparently, the name of the band is formed by two words: ‘Haze’ and ‘Den’. Haze stands for the style of their songs, which is cold and grand, Den is a word meaning ‘one-man hole’, means the songs played by the five of them. Hazden is a five piece local band lead by the stylish vocals of Faye. On lead guitar is Cheong, playing rhythm is Kevin. The bassist is Lun and the drummer is Lok.
When they first started playing it sounded so familiar to me, like I had heard them before. Maybe I had? Their first song, ‘Suicide’, had a good intro and I liked how it built up into the verse. You could tell they were very talented musicians, though they arched over their instruments and did not really engage the audience.
Faye introduced her next song, ‘I see it’, but I couldn’t quite hear what she was saying. She did go on to say that all of her songs are about life. Then, the song started slowly and it didn’t seem that all of the instruments were on time together until the song sped up. Faye’s voice sounded especially good in this song, she could reach all of the high notes and she even did a little bit of screaming at the right times. The song ended like it had started, slow and chilled out.
Unfortunately, to be on last at an Underground event is not always a good thing. When it gets to almost one o’clock many people have already opted to take the MTR home. Also, by this stage the people still left in the bar are probably drunk, like me. So, by the time Hazden played their next song. ‘All I need’, I was already spent for the night. I wrote a note down as a comment to this song- release the emotion in the music. I have no idea what I was on about. It was late. I was in a Haze-den.
They got my attention back in the next song which I noted as including the piano. I thought would they do as good a job as Speaka did at the start of the night? I guess it might have been the levels, but when Faye first started singing I thought she was singing in Cantonese, until a little while later I realised that it was actually English. I really did enjoy her vocals in this song. This song had a Radiohead feel to it, but with female vocals. I thought it fitted quite well. Some Radiohead songs make me want to sleep, and this song had the potential to do that too, until it got heavier. Then the ending didn’t sound anything like it had started. But, I was definitely more awake now.
I am confused because in my notes I have got six songs and in the list they gave me there is only five. So maybe what I thought were the two last songs, were actually the one song. Hmm? Well, when this song started I thought it sounded like any Canto-rock song I had ever heard. I heard her screaming something along the lines as ‘Fa hoi fa’. Something like that. I remember thinking that the sixth song actually started out the best of any of their songs. But, little did I know this was still the 5th song. Cheong and Kevin played their guitars really well in this song. Though poor Faye’s vocals were too low and Lun’s bass was overly powerful. The band banged it out to end the 90th Underground show. A truly memorable evening.
Cain (F.B.I. vocalist)
Click here to watch Hazden playing their original song: All I Need!
Live Review from Macau Underground 2:
A rock band featuring female vocals, earned a lot of appreciation from the Macanese audience, their set was heavy and angry, skillful and nicely arranged, the vocalist interacted a lot with the audience and the guitarists also make some very good detailed solos and riffs.
Bringing a harder edge to the stage, Hong Kong rockers Hazden meant business from their opener Ileana. Building a wall of sound brick by brick with their lyrical flow and hard edged guitar riffs, multi-lingual Hazden, brought the edge in their hazey way. By the time they sang suicide there was something like a mosh pit happening in front of the stage. Diminutive vocalist Faye proves that, like Yoda says you can’t judge by size. You can hear more from Hazden on their myspacepage.
Live Review from Underground 54:
Faye – Lok – Lun – Kelvin – Cheong
Right from their sound check, this band signaled fast, loud, bold. Awesome kicking drums and strong vocals marked their style. Part Goth/ post-punk, hardcore and metal – the crowd really liked them.
Faye’s vocals had substantial power to carry themselves competently over the crashing drums and strong bassline rhythms. She seemed to have two types of good noise-making – depressed and guttural or loud and screamed. The small lead singer said their songs were mainly new, which proved all good as they had a fresh sound about them. I’m too stupid to speak Cantonese so I don’t know what insights she had to share in the words, but whatever it was it sounded pretty real and reasonable.
Faye, with her funky, almost-surreal orange caramel hair, is cool, cocky, wild and friendly. The rest of the band were the tall silent types who went about providing good, solid backing to her way of doing things.
They’ve only been around for 9 months but they’re already good dark musicians. Aware, sensing and intuitive. Ballsy and defiant.
Isobel S. Saunders