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Your favourite New Zealand pop-punkers, P.H.F., are back from a long hiatus with the eleven-track masterpiece I HATE MYSELF.

As always, the enigmatic artist has brought their own brand of sickly sweet guitar pop combined with garageband production sensibilities to create a collection of tracks that burst with colour and flair and are left stuck in your head for days. Harsh distorted guitars combine with pitch perfect synth lines. Golden-era-pop vocal melodies sit atop driving drum beats and thundering basslines, all combining to a perfectly weighted power-pop concoction. The Lo-Fi style seen on previous releases from the artist has largely been stripped away, to reveal the songs as bare and raw as they have ever been. This is most notably seen in the vocals which are for the first time in the band’s history, easily discernible. The album addresses themes of mental health, addiction, as well as love, abandonment and how they are all intertwined. Stripping away the vocal distortion and talking directly to the listeners about important issues that deserve to be addressed head-on.

I HATE MYSELF is not just the latest release from one of the best power-pop acts making music at the moment. It is a collection of songs that while being incredibly catchy, speak directly and in a powerful way to issues faced by many in the modern day. This, combined with the excellent song-writing and melodic-genius, may make I HATE MYSELF one of the most important releases of 2018.