Last year, mathcore punks Baby Godzilla were forced to change their name by a Japanese film giant. They were reborn as Heck, and their dogged pursuit of carnage resumed.
Good job too, because we need bands like Heck; bands who are willing to swan-dive off speaker stacks and splatter their own guts on the wall in the name of rock n roll. Over the last five years the Nottingham four-some have built a reputation for their crazy gigs: equal parts playful and savage. These guys don’t just incite pits, they get the fuck in them and often the fans are as willing to emerge as battered as the band themselves.
Like Gallows, Pulled Apart By Horses and The Chariot – and incidentally the influence of all three can be heard within the maelstrom of Heck's aural mayhem – Heck now have the task of capturing their reckless chaos on record. Instructions opener "As Good As Dead" is a promising start, hightailing out the starting blocks in a blind panic. Matt Reynolds’ desperate screech: “I might be paranoid but there's a lot to be said for a little perspectiiiiiiiiive!” gives way to a bulldozing riff and a brilliantly silly refrain reminiscent if Mclusky's "Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues". Recent single "The Breakers" is equally frantic, a mess of jagged guitar barbs and lacerated screams that sound sordid and soiled. While there’s a hearty dose of OTT ridiculousness on display, Heck pack all the spit-flying punch of hey-day Refused while their brutal riffs and dizzying time signature changes recall Converge.
Some of their previously released tracks – "Don't Touch that Dial", "The Great Hardcore Swindle" and "A Great Idea Bastardised" - have all made the cut and sound as spiky and gnarled as ever. But the real moments of surprise come when the band strip things back and sound heavier than ever. "Totem"s measured, crunchy guitars are the beefiest thing here, while amid breakneck pace and jazzcore interludes, the sixteen-minute, epic three-parter "See the Lady Decently, Buried Although, Amongst Those Left Are You" includes clean, bluesy vocals and a monolithic riff that sounds like Royal Blood. You can't truly understand the fury of Heck until you've seen them in a room where both sweat and band members are dripping from the celeing, but this is as close as you’ll get to the live experience without destroying a guitar amp.