Send More Paramedics - The Hallowed and the Heathen (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Send More Paramedics

The Hallowed and the Heathen (2005)


It's said by every grandmother and lame mom and dad in the world at least once a week: "Curiosity killed the cat!" I never so much put stock in that, but if any one noun could kill the proverbial cat, it's repetition.

Nobody bothered to tell this to the U.K.'s Send More Paramedics, because their latest release, The Hallowed and the Heathen is just that, a whole lot of repetition. The band's hardcore punk sound is one that stays essentially true to the bands who have played it before them, but the songs wear thin rather quickly, never really gaining the momentum that they might be capable of.

The band does their best to throw in some additional songwriting elements, such as breakdowns, gang vocals, and the occasional guitar solo, but more often than not, those sounds don't fit in with the style that they're playing. The one area the band does vary successfully is with the vocal arrangements. The band's vocalist can expertly nail the more traditional punk sound as well as an absolutely throat-shredding scream that he displays in certain parts of the album. One listen to "A Necklace Made of Teeth" will show the vocalist's abrasive side; I just wish it came out of hiding more than it actually does. While the vocals are very much on point, the lyrics are less than exemplary. There's lots of gory, bloody sorts of imagery, and an overall extremely bleak outlook on things.

As I mentioned before, if vocals were the only aspect of an album, they'd have things down pat, but unfortunately, the instrumentation doesn't hold up so strongly. Competent musicians they are, but that doesn't translate intro the songs being interesting. "Desert of Skulls" shows a band who can rage, but not much beyond that. The structures are relatively simple, unless you take into account the guitar solos that just sound silly within the basis of the rest of the song. There's slower tracks, and tracks with more variation than others, but none of it every really sticks with you. It's more redundant than replayable, and that's where the band falls into trouble. Solid rhythms and a good amount of bite, but nothing is separated enough to be remembered.

Not by any means a bad effort, and one that I'm sure a good number of you would really dig, but at this point in time I'm finding more bad than good.