Baby Godzilla had gained a name for themselves in the past couple of years due to their frantic live performances, however due to a copyright lawsuit threat by the owners of the actual Godzilla franchise, they were forced to change their name to HECK. They haven’t let that dampen their spirits though, and have returned under the new name with Instructions, their long-awaited debut LP.
The album begins with blood curdling screams right from the word go with Good As Dead, which contains both sections of complete madness, catchy grooves and a progressive bridge section. In fact, the opener is possibly one of the best tracks on the album. It is followed by Mope, which shows off even more chaotic guitars and percussion, and relentlessly hard hitting sound throughout. It sounds exactly how it feels to be furious for no reason and it captivates the energy of rage effortlessly with its manic riffs. With barely any chance to recover, we are thrown into third track, A Great Idea Bastardised, which manages to keep up the pace with screams of “you’re not welcome here”. At the end of this track we hear a charming little guitar interlude which leads us into the next section of the album.
The Great Hardcore Swindle is the fourth track on the album, and although the melodic vocals on this track are possibly the weakest feature of the entire release, the screamed sections are just as powerful as ever and the final section of this track is one of the grooviest, dirtiest parts of the album, which helps to redeem the song. Fastback is an incomprehensibly chaotic mash of mayhem and disorder lasting just over one minute, and Don’t Touch That Dial begins with the same charming guitar interlude that we have already heard once, before descending into utter chaos. The ending section of this track is a wonderfully full sounding waltz featuring violins, pianos and acoustic guitars, and also samples some of the vocals from opening track Good As Dead, which works surprisingly well.
The Breakers plunges you back into the immersive sound of HECK’s mayhem with its screeching, scratchy guitars and unrelenting vocals, and is possibly one of the most enjoyable songs on the album with a gruesomely sludgy riff towards the end. Totem is one of the only times during the album where HECK decide to build up to a heavy breakdown rather than diving in unexpectedly, and it actually works fairly well. It sounds as if the guitars on this track are tuned just about as low as they will go without the strings falling off, and it sounds awesome. White Devil follows and is another two minutes of technical chaos which sees HECK switch between countless time signatures and every single member of the band once again shows off their incredible talent for playing their respective instruments. Closing track, (i) See The Old Lady Decently (ii) Buried Although (iii) Amongst Those Left Are You, is a 16 minute long progressive rollercoaster ride split into three acts which rarely holds up on the heaviness and remains impressive throughout its entirety.
Perhaps the threatened lawsuit that lead to a name change for HECK was a blessing in disguise – this band are no longer comparable to any kind of baby, and instead they are now full grown monsters. Maybe Toho Limited had a sneak peek of this album and had genuine concerns that the band would become the first thing that comes up when you type in “Godzilla” on Google. Instructions is basically a 43 minute-long punch in the mouth which sees HECK taking heavy music right to its limits. If you want to listen to something that will leave you wanting to smash up everything in your path, don’t hesitate to check this album out.
For fans of: Feed The Rhino, Hawk Eyes, Architects
Words by Tom Armstrong
‘Instructions’ by HECK is released on 11th March on NPAG Industries.