Somewhere in America right now, a kid is hearing hardcore for the first time. He hears the flat vocals, the crashing bursts of drum and guitar, the utter bass-free lack of boogie. He realizes that rock music doesn't have to rock; it only has to make him feel. He feels like his life is about to begin.
The project of post-hardcore is, in many ways, about recreating that moment for listeners who have heard plenty of hardcoretwo decades of it, from Minor Threat through Agnostic Front to Fucked Up. It is about making the familiar viscerally new again. That certainly seems to be what Hausu is up to, with their recognizable, even constrained treble guitar and MacKaye yowls. Their songs express powerful emotions, first quietly, then loud, then quiet, then both loud and fast.
Perhaps you are familiar with the approach. "I don't wanna talk about it anymore," frontman Ben Funkhouser sings on "Gardenia." "I just wanna feel like I'm living again." It's a neat encapsulation of what the Portland band is reaching for: a powerful, remembered feeling in old sounds. Hardcore isn't getting old; it's just as you remember it. Only the listener needs reinvigorating.
Hausu plays the Palace Sat., June 8, at 9 PM with The Turn-offs, Red Carpet Devils and Confidence Man. Free.