(hed) pe is back on the block with a brand new invention and that invention is “Forever” from Pavement Entertainment. Remember back when (hed) pe rocked our ears out with such hits as “Killing Time” & “Waiting to Die?” Well they are fresh out of the studio with brand new music to share with us. “Forever” kicks off with a song called “Live” that’s reminiscent of their many favorites with heavy grooves and twisted lyrics wrapping around the catchy hooks. Good mix of harmony, musicianship and still sticking to their roots.
The second track, “Pay me” starts off fast and top beat. The old school punk and thrash feel is quite a lot to grasp but to an old school Cali punk myself, it’s nothing that I can’t absorb and something that I can appreciate. I can’t help but remember all those old school punk shows in Santa Barbara. Instant reminder of the old times when it was cool as shit to be grungy. I really liked the ending that breaks down into a smooth jazz organ groove. Nice touch.
“Closer” is hard driven with a rap heavy and reggae vocal style mix, complimenting a really heavy guitar riff, all floating on interesting drum beats. I am still yet to wrap my brain around it. All in all, it’s a cool song, very solid.
“Hurt,” “It’s You” and “Waste” all seemed to roll together, fluid-like. Great few songs to keep in cue as you are taking those long road trips. “It’s you” has a great chorus line that really stands out as a well thought out piece of the puzzle. I enjoyed the melodic breakdown with the chorus lyrics….. it really was the highlight of the song.
“JahKnow” revisits the classic sound of (hed) pe. Almost worthy of anthem status, you can’t help but enjoy the reggae elements to the vocal style. There is an obvious positive energy and message to this song that I can relate to. I also dig the chug – chug stops that intertwine with the vocal lines. Those breaks certainly took some time to write and were perfectly executed. This song stuck with me as a highlight of the album.
“One of a kind” takes the band straight into their Rastafarian roots. (hed) pe brings the reggae beats and has kept it real since the band first started. A near perfect balance of metal and punk has been the mainstay of (hed) pe, setting them apart from the rest of the pack. I really enjoy the manner in which they incorporate so much reggae into their music. It’s really a key factor in their brand along with old school punk and thrash beats. Having them all in one place is what (hed) pe has always been about.
“The Higher Crown” which is a short instrumental track mid-album, could easily find itself on a movie soundtrack, with an ancient feel and sound. Whoever composed that little ditty needs to start a post-production studio doing film scores.
The remaining songs, “Shadowridge,” “Together,” “Always” and “Ganja” changes direction and moves to the mellow reggae style, varying in topics but never changing tempo. Good solid sun in your face, sit on the beach and grill up some protein, music. The kind that reminds you of a well-deserved vacation in the tropics. Where all of your worries are back home a few thousand miles away.
As a whole I enjoyed the album from start to finish. It’s the kind of album you play for your straight-laced friends whose playlist rarely venture outside the realm of interesting and fresh. If you have a few minutes and truly enjoy some of the dying or lost art of real old school punk and reggae, check these guys out. “Forever” is unique, crosses many different genres and is very well organized musically. I am excited to see what the next tour will bring for (HED) P.E.
Forever! is set for release on July 22, 2016.
-DJ Rob Chaoz
- Pay Me
- It’s You
- One of A Kind
- The Higher Crown