Hez Panamaniacs LP

HEZ has been around for ten years now and I have kept checking for their releases, which concluded with a demo, two 7”s and a mini-LP. I liked them, but always saw more potential than what they actually showed. Finally, Panamaniacs arrived, and it is great, overwhelming hardcore. Great riffs and hectic guitar playing varied with effects scattered around tastefully that sound like a malfunctioning computer. A bunch of plays with tempo usually introduce tense, mid-tempo stompers that also include pedal-manipulated guitars, and also a lot of echo/delay on the vocals. It did remind me of the great DESTINO FINAL, and Panamaniacs could be put next to Atrapados. It’s that good, and it’s that different from the current overload of new releases. HEZ also has their references, but finally they have their own form—it’s hard to achieve quality and features which distinguish you from the others. Even if punk was born from a “live fast, die young” ethos, I welcome when bands take their time, remain together, and craft more releases rather than throwing out a couple 7”s, taking a vacation in Europe disguised as a tour, and then breaking up. If you stick together with your friends in a band and focus on writing sicker songs, it will pay off—at least, I am super happy that HEZ did so, and now I can blast Panamaniacs.

Hez Guerra Interior EP

This is a real blast of mutant matter. Noisy, with pissed-off vocals full of echo and delay, dirty guitar, the bass like a constant drone, and a drum kit that invites to a crazed slam—you can almost feel at certain times that the violent inertia of the music is about to derive in absolute chaos, specifically in the subsequent disintegration of the songs, which you could argue happens in a couple of occasions. These guys from Panama deliver a short and sweet EP with an absolutely beautiful cover. After listening to legions of limited imitators, I think we finally have a band that extends the legacy of classic Mexican bands like RATAS DEL VATICANO or INSERVIBLES.


Hez Problemas EP

Oh fuck yeah! Dark, atmospheric punk from Panama that doesn’t rely on bullshit deathrock and goth tropes to carry their songs. And this is one of few bands to successfully use delayed vocals to aid mood instead of as a crutch. Nothing here ever goes faster than mid-tempo, but each song still maintains an intensity that most punk bands would die to have.