Saturday, 8 December 2012

Hellbastard - Sons of Bitches EP (Review)

 
Album Type: EP
Date Released: 15th November 2012
Label: Patac Records
 
Track Listing
 
1) Arcadia
2) Sons of Bitches
3) System Whore
4) We Had Evidence
5) Throw The Pertol Bomb
 
Bio
Often cited as being the band who created the "crust" wave of the 1980s, HELLBASTARD formed in late 1984/'85 then died a premature death in 1992. In 2012, HELLBASTARD are now very much back in action, tighter, more powerful and still as annoyed as they were from the off. With the scarce availability of heavy music -- especially heavy music with respectable lyrics -- HELLBASTARD bring socially aware lyrics and an unclassifiable form of punk/thrash metal music to the international stage.


Founding vocalist/guitarist Malcolm "Scruff" Lewty saw fit to reform the 'Bastard in 2008. The mischievous, unkempt, "Geordie" looking frontman comments: "It had to be done. There was a massive interest in the band worldwide and a friend from Los Angeles made a HELLBASTARD internet site which got thousands of hits in a very short time. This was all well and good but it was consistency that had a big part in the HB revival. It was things like this and my own gut instinct which told me to reform the band. Besides, it is a great live band. If I wasn't in the band I'd definitely wanna go and see us! It's the energy and passion... it always comes across". Over the past couple of years, HELLBASTARD have been pummeling stages throughout Europe and North America and, in addition to the upcoming Sons Of Bitches EP, recently unleashed a splitpicture disc with friends Dresden through Unleash Hell Records
 
 
 
Hellbastard is
Malcolm "Scruff" Lewty • Vocals/Guitars
Tom McCombe • Guitars
Paul O'Shea • Bass Guitars
Josh "Buda" Harris • Drums
 
Review
 
The John Peel endorsed Hellbastard are truly in a class of their own. You can't categorise it, other than to say it is a mixture of, amongst others: thrash, crust, punk, hardcore.
This five track EP kicks things off with “Arcadia”. No death growls here- hardcore-ish vocals, lyrics about real things and a rhythmical approach make this opener grab the listener's attention. A killer riff snakes in at the 4 min mark, but the track will have made its mark on you by then. The production is clean and bright- if you didn't know; you could be forgiven for thinking that this was brand new ground breaking band.
 
 
The title track gives us an almost death type riff to start but then the track grooves like American hardcore, the temp changes upwards the lyrics are full of vitriol- what is not to like here?! “System Whore” boasts a raging opening riff with an early lead break to keep you off balance. There are even echoes of, dare I suggest it, Cronos in the vocal approach here. Workplace/white collar sellouts seems to be the theme on this track, samples drop in an out and then, astonishingly, a mellow kind of proggy (?) section comes in just before the four minute mark to close out the track.
 
“We had Evidence” starts melodically but this vibe is replaced at 2.20 or so by a truly frenetic riff. A half time groove then jumps in and the vocals begin in earnest. There is even a Slayer type riff a little later to give us something to think about. Winston Churchill is sampled to great effect as the song reaches its rather unpredictable conclusion. “Throw The Petrol Bomb” is a reggae dub type track that will give all you budding and even seasoned anarchists something to think about and marks an interesting conclusion to this rather schizophrenic EP.
 
The whole thing works superbly well and comes from a band backed up by three decades of history. If you have an interest in the heavy, odd, forward thinking or music with a split personality- check this out. Fantastic stuff.
Written by: Richard Maw
 
Thanks to Dave @ Earsplit for hooking us up with the record to review.  You can purchase the record here. For more info on the band check the links below.
 

No comments: