The last time we heard from THE HELL, the boys in bandannas had put out their sophomore album Groovehammer and were using it to defend having fun with music. With their new album Brutopia, they’re up to their usual antics, only this time their vision is much more focused and cheeky. Instead of just saying “Fuck everyone forever” and being done with it, they’re taking the time to point the finger at various aspects of society and giving them a personalized “Fuck you”. Brutopia is used as a vehicle for the band to jump from subject to subject, with those subjects ranging from night clubs to social equality, and rip into each and every topic they choose while being both funny and engaging musically.
THE HELL use the fictional land of Brutopia as a hub for everything that irks them in popular culture. It’s a place ruled with an iron fist that points its citizens in the direction of what they should be enjoying at the moment and having fun is never on the agenda. Through their satirical ignorance the band tear through aspects of this fictional world and show just how absurd it all is by making a thorough mockery of it. Here are a few notable songs and their subject matter: ‘SHITE CLUB’ talks about how going to the club and paying ten pounds to drink is just something for people to do rather than an actual meaningful activity, ‘WE’RE ALL THE SAME’ is all about how people should stop trying to divide us and instead start trying to come together under the universal banner of all being dickheads and ‘FUCK YOU ALL’ is all about calling out other bands for hating THE HELL’s place in the music scene while telling them to fire their limited merch runs into the sun. There are plenty of chances for you to laugh while listening to this album. The band are getting cheekier with each release and that is to be both expected and encouraged.
In terms of performance, the band have improved in all areas. They’ve been getting steadily more creative since their debut record You’re Listening To THE HELL and that really begins to peek through on Brutopia. They still have their signature ignorant bounce behind these songs, but the tracks have more variation than ever before. On one of the singles from the album, ‘I’VE GOT LOADS OF MONEY’, the band take a chug section, use every chug to say a vocal line and in-between the vocal lines they inserted a rap style start/stop ad-lib that goes, “HEY HEY HEY HEY”. This part is mentioned specifically because the band using song structures like this feels exclusive to Brutopia. Even when the band aren’t uniquely blending hardcore and rap in an oddly fitting way, they’re still incredibly tight as a unit, making a case for their improvement in songwriting with songs like ‘BRUTOPIA’, ‘SICK’ and ‘PAINIAC’.
Though the lyrics are supposed to be jokes, THE HELL show that the songs don’t have to be. Novelty bands often wear thin because they can’t find their footing in the musical side of their act and don’t create anything distinctive, but the group have found a home in their deceptive simplicity and are blooming in it. Brutopia may not be the best place to live, but it sure is an interesting place to visit. Let the motherfucking hell guide you on a journey of laughter, headbanging and dicks, you dick.
THE HELL – Brutopia gets…