(hed)p.e. – Forever!

hedpe_RingMasterReview

There is no point beating around the bush, (hed)p.e. uncaged arguably their most eclectic and flavoursome proposition to date with previous album Evolution two years ago and have now eclipsed it with their new trespass of the passions that is Forever!. That last album was in many ways a leap into a creative maturity not yet seen in the band, a growth fully come to its peak with this latest collection of thirteen again adventurous and diverse songs which also reap the qualities which made instinctive fans of people in through their early albums. Quite simply Forever! is the band at its most anthemic and biting best while still pushing their boundaries at the same time.

As soon as opener Live seizes ears there is no escaping that familiar sound and air unique to (hed)p.e., or the instinctive awakening of an eager appetite which as big fans of the band here also means greater demands. Its initial smouldering tempting with skittish beats and the twang of off kilter keys skilfully builds anticipation before it all erupts with chunky riffs and whining grooves as the distinctive tones of Jahred Gomes leap on ears and imagination. It is a rousing slab of (hed)p.e. with imposing rhythms from drummer Jeremiah ‘Trauma’ Stratton courted by the groan of Kurtis’ bass as guitarist Gregzilla casts a sonic web.

The outstanding start continues with Pay Me which in turn is soon chewing the senses with rapacious riffs and menacing beats as scything grooves squeal and group snarls roar. Even more so than its predecessor, the song recalls the antagonistic might and essences to be found in the likes of the band’s self-titled debut and successor Broke but fusing it to striking samples and a fresh swath of sound to create something hungrily new, a quality as rampant within next up Closer. A gorgeous slice of rap metal with a striking weave of melodic suggestiveness to its fierce growl, there is more than a touch of Skindred to it and at times vocally it is easy to wonder if that band’s Benji Webbe is guesting such the great blend of vocal style which only adds to the drama and appeal of another outstanding trespass on ears.

hedpe-forevah_RingMasterReviewThree songs in and the demands for something new again from the band after Evolution is satisfied and fed further as first Hurt swaggers in with its southern tinged grooving and rapacious hooks within what is prime magnetically (hed)p.e. rock ‘n’ roll. Its stirring exploits soon whip up involvement and spirit with anthemic mastery before It’s You growls and serenades with matching prowess as guitars and bass collude in a cantankerous and thrilling trespass as thumping beats descend and vocals attack and entice.

The punk driven Waste unloads its ire and raw energy upon the senses next, the track an exhilarating intrusion bringing more variety to the album and pleasure to the heart while the following JahKnow whips up equal satisfaction with its metal and reggae seeded recipe of confrontation and anthemic arousal. The latter essence also flavours next up One of a Kind, dub twisted vocals and gentle, slightly melancholic keys to the fore before Jahred’s vocals spill emotion and subsequently the band uncages a volatile surge of raw sound and aggression. With ragga elements adding to its contrasting calm and savage roars, the song soon has the imagination enthralled as indeed does the prophetic, cosmic seducing of short instrumental The Higher Crown.

Shadowridge takes control next with its own individual reggae spiced persuasion, a tempting elevated by soothing harmonies and a catchiness which oozes from every note. Every listen unveils another twist and layer to the song, keys growing in poise and suggestion every time to help a slow burner compared to other tracks within Forever! being one of its most vital moments.

As with Evolution, (hed)p.e. collect their mellower reggae toned tracks to the rear of the album and whilst there it felt they warranted being interspersed throughout the release, in Forever! it just works with Together offering  next a captivating stroll sharing warm caresses of brass throughout before making way for the livelier but no less warmly seductive and highly infectious Always.

Bonus track Ganja completes Forever!, the song as virulent as anything on the album with its lo-fi nostalgia aired bewitching bringing the superb release to a fine close. (hed)p.e. continue to impress, excite, and indeed surprise with their records, but with Forever! they have hit their finest moment in a long time, maybe ever.

Forever! is out now through Pavement Entertainment across most online stores with a LTD Edition double album containing 15 track bonus disc Family Fresh featuring appearances by Twiztid, Blaze, The Roc, and Playboy The Beast also available for a limited time.

October/November sees (hed)p.e. as special guests on Alien Ant Farm’s UK-IRE Tour with Sumo Cyco and Kaleido.

Dates…

October

18th – WAKEFIELD – Warehouse 23

19th – EDINBURGH – La Belle Angele

20th – ABERDEEN – Garage

21st – BELFAST – Voodoo Lounge

22nd – DUBLIN

24th – PRESTON – 53 Degrees

25th – BRISTOL – Marble Factory

26th – CHESTER – Live Rooms

27th – LEAMINGTON SPA – Assembly

28th – SOUTHAMPTON – Engine Rooms

30th – WOLVERHAMPTON – Slade Rooms

31st – LONDON – O2 Academy Islington

November

2nd – BARNSTAPLE – Factory

3rd – READING – Sun 89

4th – SOUTHEND – Chinnerys

5th – HULL – The Welly

6th – OXFORD – O2 Academy

http://www.hedperocks.com   https://www.facebook.com/hedpe/

Pete RingMaster 01/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shifting fights and battle cries: an interview with Jackson Benge of (Hed)p.e.

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We hold no qualms about showing our passion for the sound and releases of (Hed)p.e. so it was a thrill and pleasure to be able to grab some of the time of guitarist Jackson Benge to talk about the recently released album Evolution. The ninth studio provocation from the band, it is their most diverse and imposing release yet, driving their distinctive band sound into new avenues with an array of spicily flavoursome and gripping twists. With every aspect of the songwriting and sound seemingly finding a new incitement to their enterprise, Evolution is an encounter ready to grab a broader audience without alienating its core fans. Settling down to look at the album, Jackson allowed us a close insight into its creation, intent, and the band’s evolving sound…

Hi Jackson and welcome to the site. Thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

You have just released your ninth album, Evolution; is the excitement, anticipation, and ‘fears’ around each release pretty much as it was with the earlier propositions for the band?

The release of a new album is always exciting for us. There is no shortage of unknowns when it comes to putting out new material, but I try not to get too caught up in the fear of what may or may not happen as far as reception is concerned. I can only be grateful to be part of something like this and to have the opportunity to express myself through the music.

As we have come to expect, there is another twist and growth to the sound of the new album; its title purposefully reflects that as much as the theme to its narrative?

I believe so. Whether you analyze the vocals, lyrics, riffs, or drumming, it’s evident that the direction we took on this release showcases a certain growth and willingness to try new things. It’s not that we haven’t been willing to do this in the past. But, this album branches out into different styles we’ve yet to do on previous releases.

bwThere also seems to be a rediscovery or look back at the band’s early sound in the release, the self-titled debut sparking to mind at times, to go with its fresh ingenuity and creative adventures. That feel of your musical roots to the album is something you sense too and if so was this an intentional exploration for Evolution?

The intention for me was to come up with riffs and ideas that were reminiscent of classic metal bands that I really enjoy. I didn’t want to imitate, but I wanted to pay homage. So, the formula was one that has worked for decades, but coming up with the riffs for this record was just as experimental for me as any other record.

It equally has that heavier breath and feel to the metal side of its presence as you just suggested, which enhances what is the recognisable (Hed)p.e. presence. What sparked this aspect in the album and its songs?

We discussed moving in a direction that showcases more of a classic metal and rock feel. But, the heaviness was equally important. Once we began playing some of the riffs together, it was obvious to us that we should continue with this concept because we all thought it sounded so good.

Evolution is the band’s most eclectic release sound wise too, has that been deliberate or an organic emergence as songs came together?

I think it was a bit of both. Moving in that direction was deliberate, but the writing of the actual material was organic.

How did you approach Evolution, from songwriting through to its recording in the studio?

After discussing the sound we wanted to go for, I had already written a song that I had frequently jammed with Trauma during soundcheck. One day, we all showed up to soundcheck and played some of the riffs from that song. That was the point we knew to move forward with this style. I went home and wrote about 12 tracks that exhibited that same overall mood and submitted them to Jared and the rest of the guys. Eight of the tracks made it to the record and the other tracks were written by Jared. When it came time to record, we each tracked our parts over the demos that Jared and I wrote. The demos served as a template for tempo and arrangement.

Was there a marked difference in its creation to say the last couple of releases, New World Orphans and Truth Rising?

Usually, we all do the recording together in the studio at the same time, with drums being the priority. This time, we recorded our respective parts in different places at different times. Drums were recorded in Ohio, guitars were recorded in Michigan, vocals were recorded in Idaho, and bass was recorded while on the road. The process was a lot different than in the past.

In the screwed up world that we live in, there must be an inexhaustible supply of kindling to fire up the passion and the lyrical incitement of songs; have there been specific inspirations and seeds to the tracks on Evolution?HedPE_Evolution_Cover

Since, I do not write the lyrics, I cannot comment on that too much. What I can say is Jared has an endless supply of kindling and his passion and inspiration are just as evident now as they always have been.

I sensed a stronger intimacy to the lyrical side of songs also on Evolution, is there a more personal element to the tracks than maybe on some of the previous records?

Again, I cannot comment on what specifically spawned the lyrics. But, I get the same feeling that you describe and would guess there are more personal subjects evident on this record.

It is your first release with Pavement Entertainment; how did the link up come about and has that brought a different experience for the band compared to other releases?

We linked up with Pavement through Tim King, who is not only the bass player for Soil, but works the A&R department at Pavement. Everyone at Pavement has been so great and we couldn’t ask for a better team than the one we have now. There is definitely a good vibe here and I feel now more than ever a sense of inclusiveness.

Has making Evolution been harder in any way than previous releases considering the state of, and less opportunities within music now for bands, new and established?

Every album process presents its own unique set of challenges. Evolution is no exception, but we rose to the occasion as we always do. The only real challenge was finding the right team to help us put out the best record possible. That explains why this was the longest we’ve ever gone without putting out a record.

Do you feel there is some responsibility from bands with experience and decent success in music to help emerging bands in a music industry which seemingly has no interest in these artists itself, even if it is just giving them exposure by inviting them to play as a support band on their shows?

Absolutely. That’s really how the whole thing works. Local bands are usually put on the bill by local promoters, so we really don’t have much to do with that. But, if it helps them, we are glad to at least be a part of it in some way. If a band can benefit by getting in front of our fans, that’s an amazing thing.

What ignites the passions positively and negatively about the music scene right now for you?

I am always open to new music. I try my best to see the good in anything, because it’s fuel for creativity. But, even if I can’t find the good, it still takes on some form of inspiration. The music scene now is no exception. There are a lot of great bands out there and I’m so fascinated with how the cycle continues on, generation after generation.

hepe2slightcolorrevOctober sees the band hitting up Europe with a healthy number of shows in the UK. Can you give us some details of who you have alongside you and what the fans can expect from (Hed)p.e.

Soil will be headlining that run with American Head Charge as main support. We have a few shows on our own after that. We’ve toured with both bands in the past and we are really looking forward to seeing our road brothers again.

Once again thank so much for sharing your timer. Any last words you would like to leave us with?

Thanks to the fans for everything. We are nothing without you. And thank you for inviting me here.

And finally, if the world/things start imposing destructively on emotions and life etc. personally slapping on a track like Renegade steels the spirit and ignites the fight within. Is there a song which does the same for you, either of the band or from elsewhere?

Motley Crue, “Live Wire,” comes to mind. That song is a battle cry to me and really gets the adrenaline going. I love it.

http://www.hedperocks.com

Read our review of Evolution @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/hedp-e-evolution/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 18/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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(Hed)p.e. – Evolution

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From the first striking and forceful raw incitements of tracks like Firsty, Tired of Sleep, and P.O.S., on their self-titled debut album, (Hed)p.e. has been a lustful follow for us at The RingMaster Review. Certainly their subsequent albums have ebbed and flowed in success but each hitting the personal sweet spot to some degree or other. So new release Evolution had a head start with thoughts but also faced a more demanding appetite after eight highly persuasive previous studio full-lengths. The questions and hopes placed before it were swiftly swept aside by a release which lives up to its title musically as well as in theme. It is a thrilling proposition which maybe does not show its new shift in ideation and sound as loudly in some tracks as in others but provides a tantalising brawl of intent and enterprise which should ignite even the emotions of those not quite as enamoured as ourselves.

Evolution is the quartet’s first release with Pavement Entertainment and sees the Huntington Beach hailing band grab inspiration from their heavier roots; sinews and heavyweight riffs challenging the senses as grippingly as the cast of flavours and imaginative ideation more expected from a (Hed)p.e. incitement. Just stepping into their third decade, the band has almost regrouped their ideas and thoughts with Evolution, starting a new chapter with the cream of the essences which took them to this point in time and entwining them with new adventures. As mentioned the album does not persistently roar with its new intent but there are equally times where new twists inspires the tingles first felt when discovering the eclectic enticement of the band way back in 1997 through their first album three years after founding.

The opening slap of tom toms announcing opener No Turning Back instantly grabs attention, their easy coaxing leading ears into a fiery wall of intensive riffs and forcibly crisp rhythms. It is a potent slap on the senses with the sonic HedPE_Evolution_Covergrowl expected of the band. Veins of melodic acidity add drama and intrigue to the proposal before the distinctive vocals of Jared Gomes surge into view with the lyrical confrontation and antagonism again firmly assumed of the band. With climactic shadows and imposing intensity, the track is a scintillating start, an infectious rage to set things off. The bass of Mark ‘Mawk’ Young is a throaty predator throughout whilst the melodic flames of guitarist Jackson ‘Jaxon’ Benge sparks the imagination to run with even more urgency into the accusations of Gomez.

The outstanding encounter is swiftly matched by Lost In Babylon, the track a blaze of metallic intent and hardcore passion. Again guitars craft a web of unpredictable and incendiary bait punctuated by the mighty rhythmic swings of drummer Jeremiah ‘Trauma’ Stratton whilst the bass stalks the senses with a belligerent yet addictive voice. Gomez flings notes and intent at thoughts with his accomplished and unique style whilst the chorus is pure (Hed)p.e. infectious persuasion, an anthemic bellow to ignite body and emotions.

A Rage Against The Machine like groove opens up Jump The Fence, its lure evolving into a progressive caress which in turn moves into scenery of jagged riffs and expressive grooves within a firm rhythmic caging. Stood over and incited by the great variation in the vocals of Gomez, the song strides with an agonistic swagger which again easily seduces for an inescapable anthem, a staple lure in a (Hed)p.e. provocation as shown by 2 Many Games in its slower flowing emotive expanse. Stirring imposing riffs strike through ears as a melodic weave of enterprise wraps the sturdy pace of the track, its emotive elegance and sonic narrative a colourful wash to the muscular core. It is not a rampaging offering but a thickly involved and imaginative suggestiveness with just as potent a temptation as the more rousing elements of other tracks.

The heavy rock canvas of No Tomorrow brings further diversity to the album, rigorously snarling vocals stalking predacious riffs and barbarous hooks for a tenaciously appetising provocation. Commandingly catchy with a vicious essence to its gripping breath, the track puts a militant spark into the passions before making way for the flavoursome venture of Let It Rain. From agitated and argumentative textures, the song seamlessly flows through immersive harmonies and scorching melodies, though everything is courted by a formidable intimidation and oppressive intensity. It is a riveting expanse of songwriting and evocative sound which is surpassed by the pugnacious One More Body, the band unleashing its most hostile weight and energy yet. It comes with another dose of infectious virulence too, another enslaving anthem for thoughts and emotions to get their teeth into.

From the more even tempered suasion of Never Alone, a strong and eventful song which just misses the spark of its predecessors yet enlists the full of the listener, the album moves through the unexpected meditative shadow of The Higher Crown to venture into its reggae seeded finale of tracks. The short ambience fuelled instrumental is an intro which sort of works though to be honest the haste to get to the excellent Nowhere To Go means it gets passed over more often than not. The next song is a delicious stroll of hazy melodies and mellow rhythms bound in a richer soaking of the reggae crafted charm the band has never been unafraid to explore. A tool for body and mind to work with, the song casts a spellbinding tempting which is emulated by the sultry tones and radiance of Let It Burn. Keys and guitars flirt with the senses whilst a dub spicery walks hand in hand with the vibrant vocal and staggered riffs, all combining for one of the most contagious and addictive songs likely to be heard this or any year.

The album closes with the smouldering presence of Hold On, the last of the reggae seeded encounters which is here courted by r&b soulfulness. Without lighting the fires of the previous two tracks it is still a fine end to a thrilling encounter, a triumph with only for personal tastes the fact that the closing trio of songs were seemingly segregated from the rest rather than scattered across the heart of the album slightly out of place . It is the only flimsy niggle to be found in Evolution though, a release which may or may not be the greatest (Hed)p.e. to date but is certainly the most eclectic and flavoursome proposition from the band yet.

Evolution is available now on Pavement Entertainment @ http://www.pavementmusic.com/product/hedp-e-evolution-cd/

http://www.hedperocks.com

Check out our interview with Hed)p.e. guitarist Jackson Benge @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/shifting-fights-and-battle-cries-an-interview-with-jackson-benge-of-hedp-e/

RingMaster 18/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Unswabbed – Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1

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Not breaking the banks of originality but brewing up a rousing storm of metal and rock, Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1, the new EP from Unswabbed, is an encounter which easily inspires a very healthy appetite for more. Unveiling a new twist in sound and its direction from the French veterans, the five track release binds thick strains of melodic and nu metal with a harder rock voracity resulting in a proposition which holds no real surprises but has ears and attention fired up and greedy for the band’s fascinating adventure.

Hailing from Lille, Unswabbed began in 1995 with a harder and more voracious rock and metal fusion than found on the new EP. A couple of early demos bred an attentive fan base for the band which their 2004 self-titled debut album pushed to a wider spotlight. Two years later its successor Instinct was uncaged with a third full-length in the shape of In Situ coming a year later, both to critical acclaim. Across the years the band has also earned a potent live reputation and found responses for shows alongside the likes of Cavalera Conspiracy, (Hed)P.E. , Caliban, Senser, Empyr, Pleymo, Mass Hysteria and many more. The album Intact was unveiled in 2011, and following a decision  in 2013 to explore new musical landscapes and inventions, the quartet set about creating Tales from the Nightmares Vol. 1. Themed by individual stories spawned by nightmarish incitements, and written and sung in English, a first for the band, the self-released EP is a stirring slab of metal fusion. Not dramatically overwhelming or as mentioned casting brand new explorations it easily ties up senses and emotions in a thoroughly captivating and thrilling temptation.

The release opens with the excellent Come to me, a dynamic and gripping encounter which takes little time to ignite thoughts and emotions. A sonic coaxing is soon rife with magnetic riffs and thumping rhythms as the track bursts into life, to which an additional almost punkish coaxing aligns itself. The start alone has body and imagination involved which is only accentuated by the sturdier beats and rugged riffs which accompany the excellent clean vocal suasion. Essences remind of bands like Mudvayne and Nonpoint as the song continues to flare up and cast tight melodic lures across its invigorating and emotionally charged body. It might not be offering something new but boy the song is exhilarating.a2298760115_2

The following Wake me up employs a chorus of children chants initially which return throughout the release though maybe to a less convincing success compared to its opening pitch. The song itself is soon commanding thoughts and attention, keys brewing up a haunting ambience as guitars and bass carve out another magnetic web of persuasion. It is like a mix of (Hed) PE and Korn fed through the metal contagion of Fear Factory, and just as riveting as its predecessor even if taking longer to convince. Its potent enticement makes way for the darker croon of Hold the line. Expelling angst and drama with every note and vocal expression, the song slowly expands across the senses with thick exhales of caustic energy blended with gentle melodic caresses. Lacking the spark of the first two songs, it still leaves an inescapable enslavement over ears and emotions, luring both back time and time again.

Dead end zone is a hard rock romp with an open vein of rock pop to its joyful swing and anthemic beats. It is impossibly catchy from its first touch, hooks and grooves as irresistible as the continually impressing vocals and unpredictable invention which ensures no song is anything less than an event. It also shows another side to the heart of the release and the evolving sound of the band, and though it is probably fair to say the song is less adventurous than the other tracks in its character, when it sounds and feels so addictively good there is little to complain about.

The EP is brought to a scintillating end by Pull the trigger again, a track like the first which leaves the strongest bait to stalk the release time and time again. Cloaked in emotional shadows from its first enticing chord, the song is the dark to the light of the last song. Riffs from guitar and bass weave a brooding canvas over which expression drenched vocals and sonic suggestiveness brings intimidating yet simultaneously welcoming hues. It is an emotionally pungent and rigorously captivating track which at times stalks the imagination as it scorches the senses with its poetic melodies and sonic colour. It is a might end to a similarly impressing release.

Unswabbed is not carving out truly original ideation with their new direction but they are unleashing a highly rewarding and persistently thrilling proposal which leaves any familiarity to others redundant.

Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1 is available now @ http://unswabbed.bandcamp.com/album/tales-from-the-nightmares-vol-1

http://unswabbed.com/

https://www.facebook.com/unswabbed

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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