For those tragically unfamiliar with the artists formerly known as Baby Godzilla, the main aim of Heck is to create as much noise as possible in as horrible a way as you can manage. Having already bludgeoned in the doors to small-time success with the raucous yet surprisingly catchy brand of hardcore punk, Heck have finally released their debut full-length album Instructions. And it is very very loud.
You can very much tell the way this album is heading within the first 30 seconds of opening song ‘Good As Dead’. There’s a lot of noise and screaming, followed by a riotously good punk rock riff, which breaks down in to a much faster but still tasty hardcore barrage. The mix of “let’s just play as fast as we can and hope people break things whilst listening to it” and “hey there’s a good riff here let’s make this bit catchy” is something Heck play to very often on this album. The catchier parts are few and far between, though that’s not to say the guitar or vocal lines are totally without melody. There’s even a few clean vocals thrown in like in ‘The Great Hardcore Swindle’ and closing 16-minute punk-rock number ‘See The Old Lady Decently Buried Although Amongst Those Left Are You’ though smacking a little of self-indulgence, the skill in both playing and arrangement make it more endearing than hateful.
Even though the music that is going on is utter bedlam, Heck still seem to possess the creative talent to make it work. No one who actually likes Every Time I Die or Converge thinks it’s just noise – we know that a lot of craft and management is needed to make something as insane as that sound cohesive on an album, and Instructions is one of the best examples of a band organising their chaos we have heard in a long time. There is a lot of those two bands, ETID in particular, but there’s also a Dillinger Escape Plan-esque level of technical capability, particularly in the playing.
The riffs are played with such fire, the vocals delivered with such gusto and passion, that throughout the entire album, there’s a feeling that this is music made from the heart, because the members of Heck really are that devoted to making that much of a racket.
Heck are far too aggro to ever be a commercially big band. But Instructions proves that they are already a damn good one.