Hell Is For Heroes
The Neon Handshake
Today’s news of Hundred Reasons playing some final shows and getting the fantastic Cable and Hell Is For Heroes to reform to help with the send off has kicked me into doing this again after losing all sense of time. Funny really that The Neon Handshake was next on my list.
Opening with the a superbly distorted guitar and the unmistakable pounding rhythm section of Five Kids Go, it is clear from the outset that this album is going to be something special. It seemed to have taken an age for the album to release since the early airplay of I Can Climb Mountains and Night Vision, and straight from the off, you know it was worth the wait. Whilst Justin’s vocals might have been hit or miss for people, for me (and seemingly a fuck load of other then-kids my age) though they were a hit, especially in this.
Out Of Sight comes kicking and screaming out of the blocks before a beautifully melodic section before exploding again. For me, the drums in the whole album sound like drums should do, big, bright and beautiful; though it doesn’t just stop with the drums. The guitar tone is incredible and the bass cuts through just right. Night Vision is one of the singles of the album, and it showcases everything that Hell Is For Heroes is about – catchy songs which sound great and a front man who is not afraid to split opinion with his vocals, often dripping in glorious desperation.
Cut Down features a sledge hammer-like riff with a very simple yet effective song structure. Few Against Many starts off a bit weak, but around 50 seconds in, when it fully gets started, it is huge. Featuring mammoth riffs in the right places, and the right amount of melody in others, it also showcases how dark Hell Is For Heroes can be, with the lyric “Like a rat in a trap, I’ll be waiting for you, taking punches and kicks, I’ll be bait for the kill” and other desperate shrieks.
Three Of Clubs is many peoples favourite album track for good reason, a song structured with the same intention as the rest on the album; to be intensely good live, though got the translation to record down to a tee. I Can Climb Mountains is the standout track of the album, everything in the song works. A perfect song for the earlier part of the 21st century.
Disconnector is the perfect foil for the high octane I Can Climb Mountains, giving enough time at the beginning for you to catch your breath back before, as normal with Hell Is For Heroes, turns everything up to 11 and 100MPH. You Drove Me To It, whilst not being the standout on the album (though it is one of the album’s outstanding tracks), features one of my favourite parts of the album with the guitars from 1:50 in with the vocal “Give me something sacred. So deep, so high ,so long, so far, so good, so much pressure building” mixed in perfectly. Seriously, listen to the song now, and pay attention for this, right up until 2:24. It’s mindblowing.
Slow Song is exactly what it says it is, slow. Slow and then heavy. Euphoric even. 3:21 until 3:58 drowns you in a rain of pouring guitars crashing down around you, and then just think of that in a live setting. Sick/Happy is minimal in it’s verses, and has beautifully crunchy harmonies in the chorus. The album finishes strong with Retreat, with Justin singing “I never thought I’d reach the end, I’m ready to surrender” which will have been chanted back at him at high volume many a time. A superb album closer to a superb album.
I honestly cannot wait for their last two ever shows with Hundred Reasons. Transmit Disrupt was another superb album which should have got more sales than it did. Thankfully they are doing it all, one last time. From start to finish in the environment that it was meant to be heard in.
Download: I Can Climb Mountains, Retreat, Five Kids Go