Hellbastard – Sons Of Bitches EP

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Review by Jason Guest

PATAC Records

Humanity is in a bit of a pickle right now, isn’t it? While the global economy is in a state of seemingly endless collapse and boundaries are being constantly contested in that not-so-gentlemanly fashion known as war, that much-prized possession – the individual’s very sense of self – is under perpetual threat from both politicians and clerics. And amid this battle for the self, we find ourselves browbeaten into picking a side and blaming some mythical “other” for the decline of civilisation itself. If it’s not somebody’s sexuality that’s somehow responsible for natural disasters, it’s because we don’t have enough guns that society will disintegrate, or it’s because of some other pathetic reason fabricated through the seemingly unending stream of ignorance that floods the streets with paranoia right into our very homes through that bullshit-belching box that we chose to purchase and make the focal point of the building that we spend a not inconsiderable amount of our free time in. We’re pretty pathetic aren’t we, really?

And that’s where Hellbastard come in. In existence since the mid-eighties (with a break between 1992 and their reformation in 2008) and cited as being responsible for creating the ‘crust’ genre, Hellbastard are still pissed. And is it any wonder? We’re still making all the same mistakes we ever did and we’re still just as pathetic. and this is the very fuel that drives this Sons of Bitches EP. Utterly vicious and as annoyed as ever, the palm-muted riffs, demonic thrash runs, caustic chords, and the furiously acerbic and charged bass tone form a robust buttress for the persistent and uncompromising determination from which the vitriolic, socially-aware lyrics are delivered. With its Beg to Differ/Prove You Wrong-era Prong-like chorus, ‘Arcadia’ has more hooks than a psychopath’s cellar and will have you hanging and wanting more. The title track is a thrash attack so hard that you’ll piss your face (I’ve checked; it is possible. Honest). The fury in the frantic riffs and neck runs are compounded by the barbed vocal delivery and the devastating drums.

Need a rest? Not a chance. The acidic venom of ‘System Whore’ is ruthless, its non-conformist message all the more raging in its elaborate structure that includes a disconcerting melodic and atmospheric latter half peppered with tormented voices echoing their anguish in the mist. The re-recorded version of ‘We Had Evidence’ that opened their 1988 album, Heading for Internal Darkness, maintains all the seething vitriol that underpinned the original and the track remains as potent as when it first appeared. The magnificent melodic guitar in the introduction soon gives way to more of the vehemence and ire that have made this band relevant through almost three decades. And with the reggae/dub ‘Throw The Petrol Bomb’ to finish us off, Hellbastard leave us laughing all the way to the end of the world. They say having an open mind is good for you, but an open mind can let the wrong thing in. Open your mind and let this fucker in. You won’t belong to anybody.

Hellbastard - Sons Of Bitches EP8 out of 10

  • Visit Hellbastard’s website here
  • And while you’re at it, you could pay them a visit at TwoFacebook here

Track listing:

  1. Arcadia
  2. Sons Of Bitches
  3. System Whore
  4. We Had Evidence
  5. Throw The Petrol Bomb

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Will have to check out some more, that riff that kicks in at around 2:40 on ‘We Had Evidence’ is merciless…

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