Hellbent - Primitive Hits (Cover Artwork)


Primitive Hits (2022)

Self Independent

When most people in Canada think of Hamilton, Ontario there's a few things that may come to mind. The Steel Mill, the University, and past rumours of a potential NHL team. With that in mind, there's no shortage of Punk and Hardcore bands either, from the Forgotten Rebels to Teenage Head and of course Counterparts.

For fans of those, look no further than Hellbent, a hardcore punk act with the self described blurb as 'the silliest smokiest band in the game'.

Recently dropping an LP on 4/20 this year these guys stay true to their message with the starting track 'Bong Song' which makes you want to do anything but burn out on your living room couch. Fast paced moshing tracks are aplenty on this release, from start to finish - in fact, there's not much room for anything else to be frank, even with it's relatively short run time under 11 minutes.

The single 'My Hits Don't Lie' continue with the cannabis references found throughout this release, along with the obvious Shakira reference. Thankfully, no other similarity can be compared between the two, which also happens to be the longest track of the entire release, clocking in at 1:57. If there was any doubt of the love of pot-smoking for these guys, then this track really buries it. This one is masterfully produced with crispy, distorted guitars and the vocals are the definite high note (pun intended of course...) of the track, if not the whole release. Coming in with a punch and never faltering, the raspiness of the vocals really fit the hardcore sound the band naturally gives off, thanks in no small part to the release's producer, Scott Middleton of Cancer Bats fame.

The second longest track off the record, 'Buckley', referencing John Denver's Country Roads spits out an energetic sound topped with the vocalist's non-stop belching throughout the track. Worth noting for this particular track is probably the only slow-ish part of the entire release, coincidentally enough during the Country Roads part of it. Overall, most likely the best musically written and performed track out of all 8, besides maybe of course 'My Hits Don't Lie' itself.

Compared to their other previous releases, consisting primarily of singles and E.P's, this album, for it's relatively short time as mentioned prior is a definite step up to those. That's not say that's a bad thing, however you look at it. The release is pretty much from front to back a mosh pit in your ears, ironically as such considering the indiscreet references to weed, bongs and other items of the sort which generally gets attributed to being chill, relaxing and generally not taking things too seriously. Regardless, these guys are nothing of the sort, the whole album will blow your ears off (not literally!).

For fans of Madball, Sick of it All and Get the Shot - you won't be disappointed with this release.

Listen here:

My Hit's Don't Lie music video: