HAAS is a pop-punk/pop rock band from Virginia. After playing around for years with their sound and band name, they landed on the name HAAS in 2018. The meaning behind the name is a tribute to lead vocalist Sam Haas’ family and late grandfather. He greatly inspired and influenced Haas with his music, so she felt the commemoration was fitting. With the used of rhythmic guitars and meaningful lyrics, HAAS has been able to combine the pop and rock genres with great success.
On May 17th, the band released their first EP entitled Love and Loss. The EP includes their two previously released singles ‘Mama Always Told Me’ and ‘Behind These Eyes’. Passionate and expressive lyrics about a past relationship (as it seems) fills the album, in a way that’s creative.
I really liked Love and Loss. My personal thoughts about the album are that it seems to be on the side of regret and hindsight, as opposed to just being bitter or angry. There are tracks that have more of an angry sound than others, but most aren’t what I would really consider to be directed specifically at someone.
The only song that seems to be a direct diss-track, is ‘Neon Love’. The song is about Haas’ ex and the way he treated her. He cared more about getting high with his friends than taking her and her feelings into consideration. From the sound of the song, it seems he was verbally abusive towards her and she decided she’s not going to put up with it anymore, no matter how much he says he’ll change, she doesn’t believe him.
When I first listened to the album all the way through, I could’ve sworn Haas’ vocals sounded almost exactly like Taylor Swift with a touch of Demi Lovato’s older work. Besides vocals, another way Haas made me think of the pair, is the way she writes her songs. Two of the biggest driving forces artists use for songwriting seems to be with mental health and most often how they struggle(d) with it, as well as past relationships, but this is different. Part of what makes Haas unique is how she took every aspect of her relationship and wrote about it. In addition to singing about the pain and anger she felt, Haas’ also thanked her ex for all the pain he caused.
The overall vibe of the EP makes me think of Swift’s album Speak Now and Lovato’s single ‘Skyscraper’, but with a heavier rock sound. Like the artists I mentioned above, Haas has a powerful presence as a female-fronted band, and I think that’s the main difference. The music scene is a male-dominated industry and while that’s not to say they don’t deserve props for putting their emotions out in the open, because they absolutely do, but it’s nice to see things from the female perspective as well.
The overall sound is what I imagine a hard rock Taylor Swift would sound like. The riffs of the guitars aren’t short or gruff, but more drawn out and longer. Meanwhile, they’re also not as low pitched like in most hardcore music, but they’re higher. I don’t know a better way to describe it. The best comparison of the album’s tone is Paramore’s album Riot. The only major difference I was able to spot is that the drumming in Riot is slightly heavier than in Love and Loss. Its hard enough to tell that anger and emotion is being expressed, but not to the point where it turns into hardcore rock or pop-punk.
I highly recommend listening to this band if you’re a fan of bands such as Louder Than Words, Last Night In Carolina, Against The Current, Wave Break, or The Faim. if you like the older Paramore you will especially enjoy this album.