Records of the Week: Hated - Pressure & 4 Song EP 7"s
Hated: Pressure b/w Stereotyped & 4 Song E.P. 7”s (Meat House Productions) Meat House Productions reissued Innocent People, the 1981 debut by this California punk band, at the end of 2020, and now they’re back with the band’s subsequent two EPs, both originally released in 1982. If you’re a fan of early 80s Southern California punk like the Adolescents and T.S.O.L., all three of Hated’s EPs are essential, particularly if you like your production raw and a little lo-fi. My favorite early 80s SoCal punk fuses the songcraft of ’77-era UK punk with the intensity and precision of early 80s American hardcore; that is precisely what Hated did, and they did it extremely well. The first of these two records, Pressure b/w Stereotyped, is the faster and angrier of the two records, leaning more toward the aggressive US hardcore sound and placing the group’s bile front and center. The record’s highlight is the stop/start chorus for “Pressure” where the singer belts out, “hate your job / hate your wife / hate your kids / hate your LIFE.” Perhaps these lines won’t make the cut for the next Norton Anthology of American Literature, but the simplicity and directness is what punk is about, particularly when the lines are paired with the band’s razor-sharp music. As for Hated’s 3rd record, the 4-song EP, it marks a slight stylistic shift. While these four tracks are still in that classic SoCal punk vein, this time there’s a tinge of darkness to the riffs and chord progressions, dialing back the aggression a hair and landing on a sound that’s more like T.S.O.L.’s self-titled 12” EP or Rikk Agnew’s All by Myself LP, though with less of those records’ sense of drama and lower production values. Speaking of the production, while I’ve emphasized these records’ rawness compared to the landmark records this scene produced, they still sound great to me. Hated’s records sound like bargain-basement studio productions, clearly recorded, but with a near-complete absence of bells and whistles. Long story short, if you love this style of catchy, early 80s SoCal punk, you’re gonna love all three of Hated’s records.