Corrosion is generally a gradual often unstoppable process but in the hands of US fury Hells, it is the swiftest undermining of the senses and emotions. Their attrition comes courtesy of their savage hardcore blend, a voracious sound making the band’s new debut EP, Paradise, one of the most punishing and thrilling things to hit the year so far. At the opposite end of the spectrum to the impression of its title, the six track release is aural and emotional dissonance fuelled by voracious anger and sonic spite. It is also a virulently addictive and rousing assault which asphyxiates and intoxicates the senses from start to finish.
Formed around two years ago, the Philadelphia hailing quartet of vocalist Larry Ragone, guitarist Brad Wallace, bassist Scott Signorino, and drummer Steve DiCicco, former members of bands such as Orchid, Transistor Transistor, Brain Dead, Wolves, Sore Saints, Psychic Teens, and Heathen Reign, soon earned the reputation of being one hellacious live experience. November of 2014 saw the release of a three track demo, a well-received platform for what now violates and thrills ears through Paradise.
The EP opens with its title track, Paradise an immediate wall of sonic and vocal abuse driven by vicious beats and an instinctively swinging groove. It has to be said that for all the punishing and creative antipathy conjured throughout the EP, it also has some of the most addictive and lively grooves and hooks heard in a long while. The outstanding track continues to ravage and incite as the rhythms become more imposing and tenacious with Ragone’s throat spilled scowls even more belligerent as they hang on twisted and venomous tendrils of guitar.
1-800-Shitfit shows itself just as intensive and irritable as it unleashes its emotive and creative animus next. A slab of barbarous punk ‘n’ roll, it grumbles and thrashes across two minutes of aural antipathy with the guitars as angry as the vocals and their roared words, while the bass is as anthemically pissed off as the scything trespass of DiCicco’s beats. Its savaging quickly makes way for that of Weather Report, which from its first breath again leaves nothing in the locker as it lashes into the listener. Grooves flirt and lacerate the senses as rhythms threateningly impose, Ragone’s raw squalls spilling irritancy with every ire drenched syllable; a combination which again simply ignites ears and an eager appetite for the threat.
As gripping and invigorating as things have been to date, the EP hits another plateau of tempting with firstly Tribute. The track is a cauldron of emotional and sonic animosity bound in the most salaciously catchy acidic grooving aligned to predatory riffs with matching rhythms. It nags and badgers with a venomous glint in its creative eye, living up to its threat yet creating a maelstrom which is littered with the most addictive bait.
It is no different with Bad Apple, the track creating its own individual breakdown of the senses with a fluid blend of intensively assaultive and scavenging tempos around an equally unpredictable rhythmic gait stalking the listener from beginning to end. There is no escaping the hate of the song, or a wish to, though it is soon overshadowed by the brilliant EP closing enmity of Night Creeps. From its initial drone nagging of the senses, the track is rancorous alchemy, a bad-blooded proposal to brew thick lust for. Within that initial sonic niggle, DiCicco’s sticks rise to create a rousing shuffle before settling a touch as short grooves and melodic toxicity joins Ragone at his least hostile on the EP, though there is no mistaking the bitterness lining his prowling delivery. The song is hypnotic, a stylish yet bestial challenge which grinds down the defences while creating webs of contagious enterprise. At the time, it is also brewing a boldly simmering in intensity and jaundice, that growing into a fiercer rabid beast by its close.
The track is a brilliant end to a seriously arousing encounter from a band placing themselves aside certainly the likes of Pigs, Sofy Major, and Brutal Truth in one foul swoop. A must for all hardcore/noise abuse fans.
The Paradise EP is out now via Seeing Red Records @ https://hells-band.bandcamp.com/album/paradise or https://seeingredrecords.bandcamp.com/album/paradise-ep
Pete RingMaster 17/05/2016
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