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7/10

HECK - ‘INSTRUCTIONS’

Andy Biddulph
Andy Biddulph 11 March 2016 at 15.51

HECK - ‘INSTRUCTIONS’ Cover

It's as rowdy as you'd expect...

Baby Godzilla may have found themselves censored by the suits when they were forced to change their name last year, but it’ll take an awful lot more than that to dilute HECK’s party-starting mathcore mess any further.

After over half a decade in action, they’ve managed to pack in what seems like every riff, song, chorus and idea they’ve ever written into 10 feverish tracks on what is (somehow) only their first album.

There’s a Dillinger Escape Plan-lite feel to songs like schizophrenic opener ‘Good As Dead’ – which navigates riffs, fistfuls of time signature changes and frenzied screams before descending into a mess of breakdowns. But songs like these have an impish, beer-chugging charm to them that their genre’s more serious frontrunners couldn’t possibly manufacture.

It’s bracing, familiar and flat-out exhausting all at the same time, and this album is finest on songs like ‘The Breakers’, when the Nottingham lads have their pedal to the floor and their heads in the clouds. The acoustic break on ‘Don’t Touch That Dial’ doesn’t quite keep that feeling going, nor does the fuzzy, slow tempo of ‘Totem’, but final track ‘See The Old Lady…’ packs in an entire album’s worth of rage and offbeat riffs, let alone enough to fill its 16-minute duration. It caps a record that’s a complete and utter headfuck, but a fun one at that.

This review originally appeared in Issue 211 of Rock Sound. Want the whole magazine? You can...

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