Soon we’ll be able to just talk about Heck without having to saying “the band formerly known as Baby Godzilla”. In fact that’s the last time we’re going to mention it on this website, you’ve got our word. Heck’s reputation is mainly centred on their manic levels of chaos at live shows. We’ve covered a fair few of their shows over the last few years and needless to say, we haven’t always come out unscathed, however it’s not an unfair comment to say that tracks they’ve laid down on record in the past just never felt or sounded that great until you heard it live. You’d come out of one of their shows with your mind blown before their EP became the glue which melded it back together again. It was a bizarre dynamic, one that sat as something you really couldn’t quite put your finger on. With that being the case, alongside the name change (sorry! I know we promised!) the build up to this album has been quite muted. The band releasing the brilliant The Great Hardcore Swindle helped a little bit but let’s just say first and foremost, right from the first listen of Instructions you will have any scepticism smashed violently out of your head and you’ll instantly become hooked on one of the best British Hardcore albums ever released.
That’s a really big statement right? Well we’re being deadly serious. Bands within the Hardcore scene so often go down a path which involves a tediously generic album and unwarranted swathes of publicity, it becomes a frustrating task to wade through all of the bullshit. There’s no bullshit here. As soon as Good As Dead screams out of your speakers, you’re taken on this manic journey through Instructions you never thought would be happening. It’s difficult to encapsulate their level of bedlam live on to record - but whilst they’ve been miles off in the past, this is seriously close. Tracks like Mope and Fastback display an eclectic level of quality which wouldn’t go amiss on a Dillinger Escape Plan album. Alongside the more Math-y levels of Hardcore, you’ve got dark brooding songs like Totem which carries a truly vicious level of heaviness. Each track is spat out with such intensity you’re left needing a breather when the album reaches its conclusion.
And let’s talk about that conclusion shall we? The final track is a three-part sixteen minute track titled I. See The Old Lady Decently II. Buried Although III. Amongst Those Left Are You. Yep, Heck have given us a sixteen minute track. The level of maturity in this song alone shows a stark improvement in the development of this band. The track itself dives in and out of their characteristic chaos blended with really atmospheric sections, groovy Rock riffs and a guitar solo which will have you pumping your fist in the air through sheer delight. It’s certainly not something we expected was in their arsenal, but in giving this album the triumphant conclusion it deserves you can’t help but be overwhelmed with a sense of “they’ve only gone and fucking nailed it”.
Instructions is the album Heck always threatened they had in them but had never quite delivered on. This is one of the most exciting albums of 2016 so far, and we’re willing to say it will easily sit amongst the finest this year has to offer when all is said and done.