July 28, 2008 | | 3.5

Heavy Heavy Low Low, Turtle Nipple and...

Heavy Heavy Low Low (HHLL) is one of those hardcore bands that just doesn’t give a fuck. Sure there are lots of them out there, but HHLL are the type that really don’t give a flying shit, but not in the traditional tough-guy-mosh-heavy-breakdown sort of way. This five piece from California is of the mindset that hardcore doesn’t have to be completely serious and tend to take their music into obtuse directions, incorporating a variety of musical genres along the way.

Mixing off kilter timing, spastic vocals, heavy riffs, simplified punk delivery and so much more, HHLL unleash 15 tracks of frenetic, energetic hardcore in a matter of 38 plus minutes (12 minutes of which is spent eating up track time for the hidden track). Jumping from straight forward punk hardcore to math influenced blasts, the band sees fit to not sit still. You know you’re getting some tongue in cheek with these guys just by checking out the track titles.

I couldn’t think of a better name for a nearly silent 38 second intro track. Moving along…

Giant Mantis VS. TURT nip
This one starts with some thick guitars and heavy drums as the screamed vocals come in. It’s got an old school hardcore feel to it, but with modern tempo shifts and post-hardcore influences. The chugging riffs around the one minute mark are pretty damned heavy and followed nicely by some memorable and light guitar work and layered vocals.

How Many Dad’s Must Eat Themselves?
“How Many Dad’s Must Eat Themselves?” comes in with rocking riffs and strictly timed drum blasts with the shouted vocals. This sub 40 second track shifts from plodding sludge to spastic hardcore like it’s got Tourette’s Syndrome.

3000, 100 Points, 100pts, Gummy Octopi
This next one starts off with spazzy guitars and shouts as heavy drums pound away at your skull. This one has lots of keyboard noise as well through it, but still has a great beefy flow and layered vocals. I like the math influences just after the one minute mark.

H.D.EYE Hybrid Cyborg
This one’s got an interesting start that’s pretty steady until the :25 mark when things go a little nutty. Man, there are more tempo and timing shifts in this one to keep track of. Memorable guitars also punctuate the track.

Trot Line Beer Can
This one has an old school aggressive feel to it right from the get go. It’s raw punk feel is refreshing. The deeper vocals that come in around :43 mark are a nice addition as well. I definitely love the old school feel to this one.

The Toxic Shock Mountain Blues
Thick, discordant guitars and catchy bass accompany a steady drum beat as the vocals come in screaming. There’s a little more vocal range on this one, stretching from spoken word to severely tortured screams. I like the tempo shift at 1:15 as the guitar tones get a bit more aggressive and deeper.

“R4TB3LLY” gets off to a spastic start with driving guitars and drums. The vocals, again, are a bit more raw on this one as thick bass bounces around in the background.

Eagle Mewnadria
This next one starts off a bit slower with some ambient sounds (a much needed rest from the constant onslaught of noise). Beefy riffs and heavy drums finally come in around the :45 mark with a steady groove. More keyboard noise persists through the guitars and thick bass. There is a complete change in tone just around the 1:40 mark that sees the band get lighter and a bit jazzy. The group gets a little trippy and discordant as the spoken lyrics come in. Reverb ends one of the longer tracks on the album.

Supernova Ninja Surfers
I love the title to this one and I have no idea why. I think the band prefers it that way. At any rate it’s got caustic guitar tones and heavy drum work while the vocals are shouted/screamed. It’s got a catchy enough group chorus that you’ll be shouting along with HHLL in no time. There’s some interesting guitar/bass/keyboard combination going on just after the two minute mark to end out the track.

Is This Your Homework?
This one has a crazy sound to it. It’s catchy, memorable and sort of scary all at the same time. It’s really all over the place, especially just before the one minute mark and then takes a left turn out of no where and has a jazzy/hillbilly feel to end in confusion.

Green Genes
This one is spastic and a bit more aggressive, yet still carries memorable guitars and rhythms. It’s a grinding, energetic track that, like myself, could end up being a favorite of yours.

HHLL cover Black Flag on this next song. It’s not a bad take on the song and to tell you the truth is probably the most sane sounding track on the album, not that that’s a good thing in this instance.

Rotten Church / Mall / Parking Lot
More grinding blasts are mixed with tilted time changes and screams. This one will definitely make you feel a bit off balance after its completed. The layered vocals are raw and caustic and mix with the frenetic guitars perfectly — even in the cleanly sung chorus and keyboard noise.

Please, That Bitch Will Outlive us All
The final track on the album starts off lightly with soft piano and some static noise. A catchy bit of guitar work comes in around the :20 mark with the screamed/shouted vocals. This one has a great sound and feel to it that you can really get into, especially after the one minute mark when the guitars briefly take on a darker tone. The track ends just after the two minute mark, but light repetitive noise continues to 14:35, at which point thick bass and drums come in with spoken word vocals. The guitars are a bit funky and catchy.

~ ~ ~

All I can say is that I hope you limber up some before hitting play on this album. You’re likely to pull a hamstring trying to keep up with everything these guys throw at you. Hell, I’m pretty sure they even heaved a scum covered kitchen sink in my direction about half way through the disc. So I’ll leave you with this… Heavy Heavy Low Low’s latest disc is a frightening breathe of fresh air in a hardcore genre that sometimes can take itself a little bit too seriously.

Favorite Tracks:
Giant Mantis VS. TURT nip
How Many Dad’s Must Eat Themselves?
Trot Line Beer Can
The Toxic Shock Mountain Blues
Green Genes

Additional Notes: