Hellbastard - Sons of Bitches
PATAC Records
Postcore/thrash
5 songs (22'55")
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Alex

I have to admit that I was drawn to this EP by Hellbastard in equal measure by the curiosity to hear one of the originators of crust punk, and also by some of the reviews quotes I heard in reference to Sons of Bitches. “Something to scare children with when they don’t brush their teeth” – this is the line I expect to read in connection with some outright monster brutality.

Maybe I misunderstand what “crust” and what “punk” should have been like, Hellbastard have been at it since mid-1980s, but to me this EP sounds like post-core diluted with a bit of thrash. Perhaps it was the choice of the opener Arcadia setting things of towards some Mad Max vision of apocalypse, with its subtle atmospherics, rolling drums, and static narration, but the EP did not quite start it on the right foot for me. Where was the pent up energy, the frenetic nature, dirt thrown in your face I always associate with crust? The title track which followed had grown significantly more thrashy, but with its clear production and rhythmic stops-and-starts I still did not quite get crust. If anything, Sons of Bitches, the song, is old period Savatage, filled with some ‘core hysteria.

Apparently, this is how Hellbastard took traditional metal and twisted it back in the day, as the re-recorded We Had Evidence had the same vibe, aided by the screaming lead, vibrating and dirtier sound. The narration, though, still remained the distraction point. Overall, B-side with the tight machine gun riff and swimming leads in System Whore did more for me than the front end of the EP. System Whore brings on the brooding anger and booming bass, so crust punk or not, the song rips. Then, at the end, throwing in a reggae parody Throw the Petrol Bomb made little sense being a total head-scratcher.

Perhaps I got thrown off by false expectations, and someone with more Hellbastard listening experience can guide me to a better representation of the band, but if this is the comeback the band was planning, for me it fell short of the mark.

Killing Songs :
System Whore
Alex quoted no quote
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