Hellco Hellco LP

Debut release of freewheeling and frequently funny punk featuring Dave from F.O.D. on vocals. There is a mix of styles on this LP, but when they rip, they rip in the best classic hardcore fashion—snotty hollered vocals, buzzing guitar, and fast beats that recall vintage CIRCLE JERKS. What sets HELLCO apart is their willingness to indulge in humor; for instance, “Just Stop Singing Like That” starts with a BLUE ÖYSTER CULT-aping riff with a melodramatic croon before launching into fast punk. It’s weird and unexpected, and they do it again at the next chorus, and then they bring it back in an echo-y goth version for “Just Stop Singing Like That Reprise.” Because the band is tight and the humor lands, it works and reminds me of bands like BIG BOYS and M.D.C. who weren’t afraid to inject some weirdness and inside jokes into their otherwise serious music. Similarly, “Swiss Cheese Brain” moves from atonal hardcore into a cowpunk bridge complete with whistling. Good record with tons of personality.