Hipshot Killer - All the Hell in the World [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Hipshot Killer

All the Hell in the World [7-inch] (2016)

Too much rock

Earlier this year, I got a beautiful clear LP to review from a Kansas City, MO based band called Hipshot Killer. I gave it a spin and enjoyed it, but didn’t have much of a chance to absorb it. Before I could listen to it twice, someone else beat me to the punch and wrote a glowing review of that record, They Will Try To Kill Us All. I downloaded the files into my device of choice and didn’t think too much more about it. Later, when those songs popped up on shuffle, I would always make a mental note of how good they were and check who it was. Eventually I started listening to the whole album and have since come to love it.

Fast forward a few months, and I get a beautiful dark red swirl 7 inch from Hipshot Killer called All The Hell In The World. Inside was a handwritten note that said something like “you’ll probably at least like the cover song”. As it turns out, I did enjoy the B-side cover song. “Sky Flying By” was originally done by Samiam on their 1991 LP Soar. I’m not really into Samiam, so I had never actually heard the song. (I’ve been considering revisiting them.) It was definitely right in Hipshot Killer’s wheelhouse. I would describe the trio’s sound as extremely melodic punk rock with guitar that generally rips. Guitarist/singer Mike Alexander has a strong voice that can reach up and get the high notes. They almost remind me of a punk version of The Outfield. (I mean that as a compliment. Play Deep is one of my all time favorite 80’s pop rock records.)

As good as “Sky Flying By” is, A-side “All The Hell In The World” is the real gem here. It’s got a catchy hook for a chorus that will get stuck in your head for days. A little reading revealed that the song was inspired by Laura Jane Grace. That made me like it even more. Alexander has a knack for writing songs that are emotionally charged without the emo wimpiness. He also uses the loud/quiet dynamic better than most modern punk bands. Both of these tracks would have fit well on the LP. That being said, “All The Hell In The World” is a song worthy of its own slab of wax. Despite their self deprecation, Hipshot Killer has produced one of my favorite tunes of 2016.

Too Much Rock is a Kansas City based music website/label that periodically puts out vinyl singles. The single series pairs an original song with a cover chosen by the site. 500 copies are pressed and they are given to the band. (The bands are always local and they’re not looking for suggestions.) I’m not sure that this is such a great business model, but it’s hard to argue with the end result. If the 5th volume, All The Hell In The World, is any indication, they’re onto something good.