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Hellbastard: Sons of Bitches EP

I recently saw D.R.I. in concert and was impressed with how great they sounded after 30 years in the business. Punk and thrash have been around for a long time, but audiences haven't forgotten the seminal bands that shaped the various permutations of the genre. Hellbastard is one of those bands. In most circles, they are mostly well-known for bringing the word "crust" permanently into our musical vocabulary; even better, they are also pretty good at making music. I had never heard before that two of the founding members, Scruff and Scotty, actually met at a Subhumans gig and established Hellbastard shortly thereafter (thanks Wikipedia!). I'd call that a cool punk pedigree.

Sons of Bitches is terrific. The first two songs are pounding, hard-driving, works that leave no doubt that Hellbastard is still strong. There's nothing tired or perfunctory about these tracks. If I have a complaint, it's that the tracks were sometimes too long. The third track, "System Whore," was too long by half. Punk music was never meant to discover sprawl, but these guys have begun to find it. "We Had Evidence" is a rather more angry work about the nature of violence and warfare in contemporary culture. I enjoyed hearing the clips from Winston Churchill toward the end of the song. Nothing can match his rich intonation and confident calls to "Victory" and his reminder that "We must never surrender." Some fans will remember Iron Maiden's own use of similar voice-overs in Iron Maiden's superb "Aces High." The best song on this release, though, is "Throw the Petrol Bomb," a funny reggae-lite song that pokes fun at the cycle of violence and anger in the world. This is definitely worth a listen.

Track Listing:
1. Arcadia
2. Sons of bitches
3. System Whore
4. We Had Evidence
5. Throw the Petrol Bomb

Added: November 16th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2157
Language: english

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