With their infusion of groove-ridden metal, interspersed with salvos of rap, punk, reggae and rock into their very precise sound –oh, and not overlooking their 19 years of experience and previous ten releases, means that American rap rockers (Həd) p.e really need no introduction.
This year is an exciting time for their fans as their eleventh release Evolution is unleashed upon us, and I can tell you that it’s another cracking addition to their already outstanding discography.
Opening song “No Turning Back” sets the pace right from the start and it’s recognisably (Həd) p.e. Melodic verses with hints of reggae and combined elements of rap and punk-rock create an ever-changing musical landscape. Although this song holds a very similar sound to the reggae-metallers, Skindred, (and during one part I actually thought I was listening to Benji Webbe singing!), this track provides a catchy and solid opener.
“2Many Games” is very rock based and slightly “Sabbath/Zeppelin–sounding” at times, with a slow, harmonious intro and the sludge-styled guitar riffs. Combined with Jahred’s rock inspired vocals and rapping overlays, creates a catchy solid track. In contrast, “Lost in Babylon” provides a touch of “Rage Against The Machine”- sound, with lyrics that follow the topic of drugs and partying such as, “chase the dragon” and “let’s escape this f*cked up reality”. These songs are filled with heavy guitars and simple, yet heavy drum work from Trauma and even though I can’t exactly label the songs as ‘pop’ or say the melodies are catchy, (Həd) p.e somehow manage to make you remember the choruses and sing-along after the first listen. Furthermore, tracks such as “One More Body” and “No Tomorrow” bring more rock inspired metal and an aggressive attitude to the album, both have some great groove-ridden riffing, courtesy of guitarist Jaxon and bassist Mark.
This album delivers every style imaginable and even rounds the album out with three reggae inspired/infused tracks. “Nowhere2Go” and “Let it Burn” are two of my favourite songs from Evolution, purely for the deep, groovy, reggae sound and they are prefect additions to anybody’s “chill-out” playlist. Vocally, Jahred uses a rap approach (whilst adding a slightly cheesy Jamaican accent), but also gives the song a harder rock edge. Both of these songs can’t help but remind me of The Specials, as they infuse subtle hints of Ska which drift and flow throughout the song.
Last but not least, the final track on the album “Hold On” follows a more prominent “roots” reggae style, with the addition of bongo drums, soft singing, soothing melodies and brilliant Santana-styled guitar solos. The song has to be my overall favourite from the album as it’s hideously catchy and yet calming.
Although this is a brilliant album, I do have a few qualms about it. There are so many genres thrown at you sometimes that it’s hard to absorb and comprehend them all at once, so a few listens may be needed before you can fully appreciate the band’s handiwork. Additionally, “The Higher Crown” just isn’t necessary, I mean, sure, it gives you a small break from the torrent of multiple music genres contained in the past 8 tracks, but it’s just a combination of strange and eerie sounds, (which is perhaps very typical of (Həd) p.e, and just a little 70’s prog rock)but still doesn’t mean I need or want to listen to a minute and forty seconds of it!
Overall, the album sets the band apart from other artists once again, creating a unique blend of music that could only be pulled off by (Həd) p.e. These guys have “evolved” into something even better than we’ve seen through previous releases and have created a listenable album that is both catchy, groovy and original at the same time, cementing their place in music history as one of punk rock’s (“with G-funk-inflected hip-hop”) most imaginative bands.
Be sure to check these guys out on their upcoming UK tour with SoiL and American Head Charge, starting this October. (Həd) p.e “Evolution” – is released in the UK 21st July, 2014 on Pavement Entertainment.
1. No Turning Back
2. Lost in Babylon
3. Jump The Fence
4. 2Many Games
5. No Tomorrow
6. Let it Rain
7. One More Body
8. Never Alone
9. The Higher Crown
11. Let it Burn
12. Hold On
Jahred – vocals
Jaxon – guitars
Mark – bass
Trauma – drums
UK Tour with SOiL and American Head Charge:
Sun 19 Oct Southampton, 1865
Tue 21 Oct London, Electric Ballroom
Wed 22 Oct York, Fibbers
Thu 23 Oct Glasgow, The Garage
Fri 24 Oct Sheffield,Corporation
Sat 25 Oct Manchester, Club Academy
Sun 26 Oct Chester, Live Rooms
Tue 28 Oct Weymouth, Pavillion
Wed 29 Oct Bristol, Bierkeller
Thu 30 Oct Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
Fri 31 Oct Reading, Sub 89
Sat 01 Nov Nottingham, Rock City