A horrible hack

Giant Haystacks

This Is All There Is

Year Released: 2018
Format: Download
Label: Mistake
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Nov 19, 2019
For a while there Giant Haystacks were a bit of a mainstay, putting out record after record of jittery staccato punk that brought to mind Gang Of Four, The Minutemen, The Jam and The Big Boys. Somewhere along the way the releases stopped coming, which didn't necessarily resonate at the time but was, in hindsight, definitely rather a loss. 

'This Is All There Is' compiles a big pile of split and EP tracks released on labels as varied as Snuffy Smile, Art Of The Underground and 625 Thrashcore, with the spiky quality of the music matched point for point by the dry, weary snark of the lyrics.

Beyond bringing together a bunch of genuinely great songs, this comp also manages to encapsulate what was so unfussily special about Giant Haystacks: they managed to tap into something that seemed parochial at first pass but was, in fact, absolutely universal. The band's conversational, matter-of-fact approach rang true like the voice of a pal grumbling in your ear while you wait at the bar to get a round in, sharing tales of shite jobs, being set upon my drunken dickheads and the quiet dismay you feel while watching where you live be hollowed out by gentrification.

It should go without saying that this is worth your attention, whether you want a refresher, need to fill in some blanks or are tangling with the band for the very first time. Just be sure to check out the bands they splintered into - Razz, Airfix Kits, Neutrals and likely more besides - when you're done. 

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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