LABEL: NPAG INDUSTRIES
RELEASE DATE: 11 MARCH 2016
Right. Here’s why the whole “they’re good live, but don’t really have any songs” thing doesn’t actually apply to HECK. A: This album. B: Their EPs are filled with tunes. C: This f*****g album.
It may have felt like HECK were the snarling underdogs in the corner, with many a critic believing that they wouldn’t be able to deliver an album and some writing them off as “just a live act” before the band had a debut out. Unwise, and that’s what makes it all the sweeter that Instructions is an excellent piece of work; HECK have proven that not only are they an unsurpassable live band, but they understand the art of the album more than most. So many other outfits fail to capture their live energy and put it on a full-length, but Heck however prove that they’re absolutely and wonderfully vicious no matter what the medium is.
Instructions delivers what those familiar would expect from a HECK record – bursts of absolute bedlam with catchy (but heavy as solid gold balls) riffs and vocals that sound like a mic was left on near a torture chamber. ‘Good As Dead’, ‘The Breakers’, and ‘White Devil’ are all prime examples of the absolute chaos fans expected their first album could reach.
But instead of just making a debut that does what you’d expect, HECK realise that a full-length record can do so much more than just deliver new tracks – that’s what their EPs were for. Instructions isn’t just a collection of songs, it’s an experience and a statement of what HECK are; moments like the rare elements of melody on ‘The Great Hardcore Swindle’ to break up the barrage, the western atmospheric build at the end of ‘Don’t Touch That Dial’, the building plod of ‘Totem’, the sixteen minute closer. All these bits come at just the right time between the ferocity to make Instructions a journey, and show that HECK really appreciate their craft.
Instructions marks the moment where we stop referring only to HECK’s live prowess and call them what they are; an interesting and daring band who craft snarling vicious music, who also happen to be great live.