2020 was a hard year for the blue-collar rockers in the music business, and not because of the pandemic alone. In the past twenty years, the genre has steadily lost listeners to more explicitly bravado-filled sounds in hip-hop, and it shouldn’t come as a shock to critics or fans that a new wave of players is taking up the task of restoring the rebellious order — no matter what the cost. Tash Hagz is a part of this wave, and it is through the lens of the impendent movement that we’re able to recognize his new single “Dependent On” as a call to arms for all who want rock n’ roll back the way it was. “Dependent On” doesn’t dabble with old-fashioned concepts, but instead sounds and plays out like a throwback on purpose. None of the barbs one could levy at an unintentionally retro piece apply to this single, and by making the smart decision to reject experimentalist trends for something just a little more puritan than what most people would be expecting in 2021, I think Tash Hagz makes it known that his mission isn’t about to be impeded by anyone or anything this year.
The vocal is angry and punkish, and after taking into account the surroundings created by the instrumentation in this song, why shouldn’t it be? It probably would have sounded completely backward to go with a traditional harmony in any part of “Dependent On,” and Tash Hagz justifiably includes none in the course of the track. The guitar parts could have been louder and perhaps achieved a greater presence than they’re given in this scenario, but I can also understand where that would be perceived as negative indulgence best left to the straight-up metalheads and their own scenes. It’s not a question of whether or not the drums are the most violent element in the song, but rather how volatile they’ll become by the time we cross the finish line — and spoiler alert, they get as crazy as they can without devolving into pure noise. To put it as simply as possible, this is a single devoted to destructive tonal vanity, which gives it an identity no other song out this spring has got.
Besides the obvious blues influences in this track that I would like for him to explore just a little more than he has to date, there’s a litany of elements within Tash Hagz’s “Dependent On” that lead me to believe he’s going to be one of the more interesting follows of anyone making their way through the UK underground this year. He’s more than ready to give up a full album to the fans, and if this latest track scores him some points with audiences across the pond in the United States, I think he’s going to have a hard time resisting the temptation to push his music even harder on the international level. I’m impressed by what he’s done so far, and anyone else who cares about rock’s future should be as well.