Making a solid sound built around a attractive blend of power pop and roots rock this California quartet deliver a tight assured set of twelve original songs. You can immediately feel at home with the catchiness of songs like Different Girl and Stomp The Gas. But equally these guys can lay off the gas and show that they are also at home on the more reflective and emotional doubt of Leave For Awhile. The songs are all written by J.W. Surge and Mike Jacoby, the band's twin singer/guitarists, either together or solo. The line-up is completed, for this their third album, by drummer Dale Daniel (a former member of the Hacienda Brothers) and David Serby on bass. Serby is an accomplished singer/songwriter in his own right but is here happy to take a sideman role in the rhythm section. Producer Ed Tree captures them in a vibrant and purposeful setting that has them sounding dynamic. He also adds keyboards to the album to fill out the sound.
The songs are all full of well work melodic hooks that underline the fact that these guys have worked these songs up for recording. Haymaker live up to there name by packing a punch. The individual writer tends to take the lead on the song he wrote but is then backed up by the harmonies and heft of the additional vocals. Haymaker may recall such bands as The Del Fuegos, The BoDeans, Old 97s, The Revenants, or even a touchstone like Tom Petty, among others. A particular sound you don't hear as much as we used to and judging from this we could accommodate a little more of.
Haymaker are an ideal bar-band. They make music that people can dance to or let off a head of steam. Equally they make good records that give the ears a workout even if you never get the chance to see them play live. They may not harbour ambitions for world domination but they have managed to find a dominant place, musically, in their own chosen world. Those interested in listening to such a fine example of power-roots music can hear them anywhere in the world. Now, now, now is the time to check 'em out.