“Hey Squatch, give Hell’s Fire Sinners a listen, I think it is right up your alley,” said The Creature from the Loud Ass Lagoon via text one day. Several weeks pass, and the Squatch hears from the Creature again. “You give that a listen?” Sasquatch sighs, realizing that he had forgot to listen to it. Raising 13 and 10 year old female sasquatches tend to make this aging ol’ Squatch quite forgetful and at times psychotic). Earlier this week, the same exchange took place. This is all loosely recalled as, again, my recollection skills are becoming more minimal by the day.
Well, here I sit in the ol’ Sasquatch Sanitarium office, with my headphones on, and eyes closed. While we obviously listen to music, I often review music by the feel of it. Originality is cool, but not necessary all the time. Sometimes bands try too hard to be different. Everyone wants to be an original, few succeed. The positive from this is when a band casts all the bullshit aside and just does what comes natural. This, I believe, is when great music is made and their influences shine through.
Hell’s Fire Sinners is a true rockabilly punk band waving a flag with a Misfits skull rampantly through the air. Imagine if you will, The Misfits with a more polished sound. Now, with that thought, let’s say Danzig was from somewhere in the southern United States, circa 1950. Do not take these Misfit comparisons as a backhanded compliment to the band, as that is not the case. It is a compliment in this mind to compare a band to the godfathers of horror punk, let alone one of the top 3 greatest punk bands of all time. Also think about the shite they are trying to sell off as punk these days. (Here comes the old man in me who I increasingly attempt to suppress, but fail miserably).
Each of the 5 songs that I have listened to on One elicits a desire for this old Sasquatch to lace up his combats and go slam dancing in a graveyard, finishing the evening at drive in diner for a late night bite to eat. Abagale starts One off with a speedy, yet sweet four chord progression set to the epitome of what a punk rock backbeat should be. Better Than The Last begins with a brief A Cappella vocals before the rhythms peak their heads in before kicking the song into overdrive. The payoff for Better Than The Last is the youthful, impossible not to sing along with chorus. Godless Self has HFS going three for three, for those keeping score at home. Beginning slow and creepy, with a low, sinister voice, distorted bass and minimal percussion, Godless Self continues to build to the soul rotting chorus, which again is the payoff. Are you noticing a trend here? HFS’s hooks are that damn good. Good enough to, well, raise the dead. Not because of volume, but due to their ability to make you move. At track four, Mortify By Shame, the band has indeed hit for the cycle. Maintaining their style for the majority of the song, demons are exorcised with the intense finish to this hard driving punk rock song growling that someone is going to ROT, ROT, ROT. Well, HFS has done just about all they could on this release, but wait, they’re not done yet. A walk off home run ends it with Sweet Misery. A slower tempo rockabilly gem that has me wanting to slow dance with the Mrs. In the previously mentioned cemetery.
Damn, is it over already? No, I am not quoting Mrs. Squatch in the back seat of the car later this fictional evening; these are my true feelings when listening to ONE. “Hey Squatch, why all the baseball analogies?” Well, they say that it is America’s pastime. Hell’s Fire Sinner’s ONE is a true American punk rock release, and one that I guarantee I will take to my grave. Damn it, The Creature had me pegged again!
- Better Than The Last
- Godless Self
- Sweet Misery