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In honour of the opening lines to ‘Indian Summer’ this reviewer has written the entire review standing up because, well, he considers himself a “hellion”. Please forgive any non-sequential ramblings or ill fitted musings as his feet are quite sore.
Fuck yeah for Hellions!
The Australian phoenixes who rose from the ashes of the now defunct The Bride are doing everything in their power to stay on top of the local music food chain. And God is it working.
The band’s second LP, ‘Indian Summer‘ has come at the perfect time for Australian heavy music. It’s like General Custer coming to save the day. When an over saturated market of metal core, post-hardcore and hardcore bands has been boiled and then super-saturated by another host of those same bands, Hellions have written what could be considered the saving grace.
‘Indian Summer‘ begins with the meta-titled ‘Hellions‘, which clocks in at just over two minutes and contains some sincere explosive energy. The song pounds along as the band thrash their instruments around even more, creating a sporadic and bouncy blend of hip hop and hardcore. “Nu-core”. Not that Attila fufu shit, but real hip hop elements and flow! Seriously, they’re thirty BPMs and a traumatic event away from being Slipknot.
Your blood is pumping within the first few seconds of this record and you’re ready for whatever they throw at you next. But, Hellions don’t keep this feeling of hipity-hop going for too long as the second track ‘Nottingham‘ bursts wide open as an emotion filled moment, crammed with huge choruses and melodies that don’t feel like they belong on a melodic hardcore record, nor a nu-core one. Yet it’s brilliant. As lead singer Dre screams the chorus, ‘If you love me so, then let me go!’ you can’t help but feel like screaming right there with him.
If you’re now torn which side of the boys you like more (nu-core or melodi-posi) then fear not as the band wets both of your taste buds with the majority of the record. ‘Creasy‘ combines that gorgeous flow and bouncy hip-hop verses with wide sweeping choruses to get the best of both worlds.
‘Ghoul‘ seemingly mixes the two elements throughout the entire track giving a warm pallet of sounds, whereas ‘Polyphasic Sleep‘ falls more in with ‘Creasy‘ in its switch between the two styles. On the latter, by adding the likes of Kyle Erich from In Hearts Wake and Duane Hazell of Heroes for Hire, you have a smorgasbord of beautiful vocals and Australian talent.
The rest of ‘Indian Summer‘ keeps the movement and energy alive with this array of writing styles and sounds yet nothing ever feels like filler. Each song is constructed and written in such an evergreen way that you don’t need to worry about skipping any filler songs because you just simply won’t want to skip. It’s all killer no filler.
You’re away in your room with the door shut because mum and dad just don’t “get it” and your throwing down while your cat watches solemnly when suddenly it hits you. The final track ‘23‘. Holy shit, the final track!
‘23‘ is simply beautiful. It’s a lot like ‘Nottingham‘ yet it takes everything done on that track and doubles it. The song is bigger, more melodic, more emotional and more brilliant. It even stops halfway through for a quiet section just to build up to close the album off. When bands come to wonder how to close their albums off in good fashion, this needs to be example A and B.
Well they did it. Hellions have taken what could have diluted the populous of Australian heavy music and made it into something rich and full of character. Where at times the band just wants to scream in your face, they are never afraid to take a step back and serenade you too. Hellions know what they’re doing here. The only thing you need to do is listen; they’ve taken care of everything else.
3. Creasy i) Styrofoam Lungs
4. ii) Technicolour Yawn
7. Polyphasic Sleep i) Aurora (feat. Kyle Erich & Duane Hazell)
8. ii) Indian Summer
9. Comedy of Errors
10. Mea Culpa