Like the mermaid on the cover of their debut album, the Sea Hags are a mixed species--some punk-rock thrust, some metal chugging, and a good deal of heavy riffing inspired by '70s hard rock.
What was missing Tuesday night at Goodies in Fullerton was a siren's call of melody that might have lent some dimension to the young San Francisco band's forcefully played but mostly forgettable show.
While snarling vocals, slashing, broad guitar chords and throbbing bass lines certainly are ingredients of exciting hard rock, they make for a bland recipe if forced to stand alone for an entire show. The Sea Hags generated some interesting moments when those elements were applied with peak intensity. But for the most part, the four-man band failed to channel its basic power in worthwhile directions.
The Sea Hags' songs deal mainly with those two old-standby concerns of hard rockers: the libido and the urge to rock. But it was difficult to tell just what front man Ron Yocom was singing about, since the wash of super-amplified guitars and bass usually swept his words under in the sound mix. Between Yocom's harsh, unvarying, standard-issue rasper's voice and the songs' utter lack of melodic interest, it certainly didn't seem that he had much of a story worth telling. Lead guitarist Frankie Wilsey had a Jimmy Page look but a tired-sounding assortment of solo licks that usually found him wailing and bending notes high up the guitar neck. Most of the songs that worked best featured Wilsey augmenting Yocom's rhythm-guitar work with sharp, rhythmic chording of his own.