Friday, September 17, 2010

No Rock Stars, No Ripoff

Hellkrusher formed in the late ‘80s as a side band with members of UK stenchcore legends Hellbastard and Energetic Krusher. Since then, their logo has adorned more studded vests than either of their main bands, mostly because Hellkrusher records were a bit easier to come by. This has probably changed in recent years due to the rise of “D-beat” hipster punks with record collections purchased from the eBay machine, but we at The Evil Eye couldn’t care less about those people anyway.

This is Hellkrusher’s first album, released in 1990. It’s a bit different than the rest of their records that I’ve heard. In fact, it’s the only Hellkrusher record that I actually enjoy listening to. The Doomsday Hour LP—their most common record—was essentially a boring Discharge imitation to these ears, but Wasteland flies the mid ‘80s metal flag with pride. Although there’s a decent amount of Slayer riffs employed in their songwriting, you’d better believe that Hellkrusher intended to leave the rock star metal attitude in the trash where it belongs. Instead, it would appear that they and other late ‘80s crust bands used thrash metal as a way to add some power to the political convictions of their lyrics…and to spice up a hardcore punk scene that had gone stale several years prior. Crust is supposed to be punk rock that uses heavy metal as a reference, which is a point that is generally lost on most bands who play the style today.

Apparently, there is an earlier version of Wasteland that is a bit rawer in sound, but the record label ordered it shelved due to the sound quality. That recording probably hasn’t been made available to any ears outside of the Hellkrusher camp, but there has been talk of releasing it with the original artwork. Until that happens, you’ll just have to make do with this one for the time being. Soap your hair, stud your jacket, pop a squat, and smash the trash here.

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