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Hellbastard - Sons Of Bitches

Sons Of Bitches
by Phillip Lawless at 14 January 2013, 1:25 PM

HELLBASTARD are widely known as the first band to use the term “Crust”. Well, they created the phrase Crust Punk – not necessarily the music or slovenly lifestyle associated with the term today. Back after years of inactivity, the current lineup features only one original member.

Opener “Arcadia” generally grumbles along. Built on near constant drum fills, the song is mostly a simple chug guitar riff until it's final minute. Then, as if making up for lost time, the track runs through a number of styles and tempos. The title track is more straightforward with a grungy but thrashy riff. It's easy to hear echoes of old VENOM here.

Lyrically, “System Whore” is about the boredom of the working world and machine guns. The song begins with almost three minutes of unimpressive thrash followed by a short noise interlude. After the break, the chorus makes another appearance. Next, the band channels their inner PINK FLOYD for a keyboard-heavy Prog breakdown to the end of the track.

“We Had Evidence” continues with the keyboards, clean guitars and slow tempo. A guitar solo makes up the first minute of the track before an honest-to-goodness riff kicks in. Instead of vocals, samples loop over the sloppy thrash chords. A spoken word section accompanies the frantic riff for a bit, then it is back to instrumental passages with samples. Closer “Throw the Petrol Bomb” is just over two minutes of dub reggae. It makes as much sense as anything on this album.

The best metal and punk EPs are known for packing a powerful punch. Many times, not in spite of the shorter length, but because of it. If a band only has the budget or time to record a five-song release, there is no excuse for filler. Here, “Sons of Bitches” is made up of material that will make a listener ask why. Why not just record five tight thrash punk tracks? Why go with samples? Why the dub track as a finale? Maybe the band decided to get creative or experiment. Whatever the reason, the end results proved less than impressive.

2 Star Rating

1. Arcadia
2. Sons of Bitches
3. System Whore
4. We Had Evidence
5. Throw the Petrol Bomb
Malcolm Lewty – Guitars / Vocals
Tom McCombe - Guitars
Paul O'Shea - Bass
Josh Harris - Drums
Record Label: Patac Records


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