Hellnation - Fucked Up Mess (Cover Artwork)


Fucked Up Mess (1999)

Sound Pollution

I was debating about which Hellnation record to review for this site, so I randomly chose Fucked Up Mess…like it matters. Hellnation stretches the boundaries of music far beyond what ordinary people would apply the term to; "cacophony" or simply "irritation" seem to suit this band far better. Here we are diving into a subset of a subset of a subset of a subset – from punk to hardcore to thrash to thrashcore. Hell, even some of my friends who love thrashcore can't take an entire Hellnation record. Here's why:

Hellnation play the most insane, blown-out fast punk ever imagined. They take riffs that the Dwarves wouldn't touch in a fit of desperation and play them so fast it sounds like a blur. There is a constant state of wrenching feedback that is undercut by sloppy blast beats on the drums using the ride cymbal (yeah…blasts on the ride). The vocals are supplied by the drummer in the form of gargled shrieks, only occasionally hitting syllables that resemble words. Every now and then the band will slow down for about 5 or 6 seconds and play their riffs at a medium speed. It is only at these short intervals do you have a second to catch your breath and utter "what the fuck did I just hear?" The "breakdowns" (more like respiratory pauses for the drummer) serve as the only way to tell most songs apart. You can start to understand why this band is pretty inaccessible to most.

Fucked Up Mess is aptly titled – its 20 frantic bursts of negativity through the medium of blender thrash. The production on this record is a lot thicker than other Hellnation offerings, with the bass cranked up so that every kick and bass lead hit you in the gut like a tee-ball bat. If there ever was a perfect recording for vinyl, this is it. Actually, you could make similar music by putting gravel on your turntable and letting the needle spin on that while setting a small child with Tourette's syndrome on fire.

Lyrically, Hellnation launch invective after invective against cops, consumer society, idiot punks, the media, and anything else you can imagine. Most songs have between 20 and 40 words in them and last for about as many seconds. The record is a 12" LP that plays at 45 rpm, giving it a fuller sound and keeping the length at a minimum. For those who bitch about short records, YOU WOULDN'T FUCKING WANT 74 MINUTES OF THIS BAND.

In short, get something by this band if you want something to put on when undesired people are around you. Before the first minute is over, I guarantee that they will be somewhere else, leaving you alone in your miserable existence. I fucking love this.

Link to song: "Greedy Motherfucker"