Title: Hellwinners (S/T)
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Released: 7th July 2014
Reviewed By: Dan Stoten
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than your eardrums being pummelled into a state of submission by some frantic, aggressive, never-letting-up punk rock. For those times, there’s Hellwinners.
A furious mix of pop-punk, straight-up punk rock, and skate-punk, this Brighton trio combine a ridiculous amount of energy with the melody and passion and a knack for writing an incredibly hooky song.
The EP opens with Living Like Statues, and sets the tone for the rest of the four-track release. Max’s drums keep the song bouncing along at a frantic speed, while the technical guitar elements combined with the bludgeoning of the more straightforward parts of the versa add up to a hugely successful, multi-layered and truly unique punk song. I will hold my hands up and say I didn’t necessarily have massive expectations for Hellwinners, but Living Like Statues quickly and defiantly thrust that thought back down my throat…
The next song, and my personal favourite here, is Wired Awake, for which the band have just released a video. What really stands out here is the melody in the chorus: it’s one of the most perfect melodies I’ve heard for some time. It’s also impossibly catchy, and the track overall is one I simply can’t sit still to. Again, the drums power the track along, and the throaty, guttural nature of Tristan’s vocals through the verses (they’re much, much smoother in the choruses) are a brilliantly sharp edge which suit the EP’s feel perfectly. There’s also something about Wired Awake which makes it a very unique song: I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but it’s easily one of 2014’s standout tracks for me personally.
Down The River starts on a much more upbeat tone, the guitar notes being that little bit higher, and Tristan’s vocal being marginally smoother and more floating across the jagged peaks of the drumming. This one’s a bit less frantic, but remains a technically complex song and one which you uncover extra elements to every time you listen. Lyrically, Down The River is strong, too, but it does feel a little to me like the band have set out to write a ‘big’ chorus here, not naturally let it evolve. It’s one of the least catchy tracks on the EP: but, to be fair, when compared to the other three songs here that’s no criticism.
EP closer, Back From The Future, is another brilliant song and a perfect way to end the EP and leave listeners wanting more. It’s a really triumphant sounding song, one which soars brilliantly, hooks carrying the listener along in the eddying pools of it’s rhythm. A fairly simple punk song, it’s one which shows true grit and passion. A fitting way to end the EP.
Hellwinners are showing all the signs of being a truly brilliant band. Get on board with them now: you won’t be disappointed.