The Business - Hell 2 Pay (Cover Artwork)

The Business

Hell 2 Pay (2002)


So Fitz and his cronies have shacked up with TKO after a brief fling with Epitaph. To celebrate, they have released a limited edition 7" picture disc of songs available on the Epitaph album No Mercy For You. I assume Epitaph can't honor these sort of long-standing punk traditions what with spending all their time being punk and whatnot. (Send me Nekromantix, you suits.) I love the Biz as much as the next sellout shouting old-schooler. So it is with great dismay that I inform you this release is the most inconsistent and unbalanced specimen I have been offered from the knockout folks.

"Hell 2 Pay" is a bombastic screamer with metal tinges all ‘round. Abbreviated vocals whet my appetite for The Adicts. The hitman tale goes thusly, "Gun in your hand and God on your side, a shot rang out on a London night. In a land where justice is a game." Steve Whale's guitar lives up to his name, rivaling Nicky Garrett in ferocity. Crunchy bass builds tension and plenty of cymbal bashing to further things along. The thick London accents are great to hear again, especially when the whole crew joins in. I'd like to hear the story about asking gangster Dave Courtney to appear on the record (so to speak.) That takes more balls to do than I could raise. With "Gangland" things start to go south. Proctor gets in some nice bass runs, and the guitars are soothing. Yes, soothing. This one's slow and repetitive. The harmonies at the end are a nice change, but Fitz' vocals are singsong and resemble a bored Bon Scott. I don't know what they were thinking when they covered Eddie & The Hot Rods' "Do Anything You Want To Do," but now we know what Cheap Trick would sound like fronted by Ozzy. Surely The Rods had better material than this, if they were so allegedly influential. For superior near-punk, the library of congress recommends Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias.

On a scale of what to do next: If zero is snag the CD for the bonus track, one is score the vinyl for the pretty picture, and ten is buy the full-length to support corporate/indie punk; Hell 2 Pay gets a four – sit and wonder what the fuck happened to the mythical Down The Pub.

Track Listing:
1. Hell 2 Pay
2. Gangland
3. Do Anything You Want To Do (CD only)