Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hell City Kings on Artificial Head Records

Hell City Kings are a mix of hot rod, biker punk culture from the concealed firearm state of Texas. You can bet I'm not going to fuck with these guys. Not in a million years - and they know where I live since they sent this one to me a couple weeks ago.

A-Side's "One Night Stand Ego" fades into a psych haze of television hum, delayed conversations and knob twisting echo effects. A weird fakeout for the heavy power riffs that punch in, captured perfectly right down to these finger flying solos filling up any break between gates. It's an updated Rocket from the Crypt sound or just straight up Lemmy, forget the rest of Motorhead they just work with that single members influence. It's overdriven right to the edge of those VU meters, thumping kick drums like mortar shells, wide, thick guitars carving a massive path through the middle of this. Balanced for snarling vocals which are backed by the rest of the band. Two guitars three vocals running at full speed, they don't even need those chainlink fence cages when they play because everyone knows better. You know what? Put one over the audience.
B-Side's "Two Grams All for Me" You only measure things in grams if they are illegal. Just saying - this isn't a cooking show. This time the vocals take more of a front seat, leading the guitars through squealing scraping up the fretboard the beginning of verses. They keep winding the tension between vocals and riffs pulling back and forth reminding me of Sick of it All/Cro Mags attitude and speed. He doubles up those vocals in the chorus and they play with tempo changes dropping down to a real chunky bassline. Everyone joins in at the end just to make sure you're paying attention, ending this one with more freakout delayed effects, like the spaceship that sucked them up for the show just set them back down again so they didn't miss the BBQ.

I can relate to the insert art from Jason Karns of a record hermit in a studio apartment and on the reverse is no difference thirty years later except more locks on the door and more shelves for records.

Mixed purple-ish smeared vinyl from Artificial Head Records.

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