Monday, 23 March 2015

Hay Perro - Eastern Ideas of Death (2011) / 82%

Woof Woof!

Slough Feg has been one of the most interesting American bands of the last two decades and it's always a pleasure to hear some of their compatriots evolving in the same sound pool. I reviewed the mysterious Texans Blackholicus
 some years ago, a female fronted Feg attack and now it's the turn of Hay Perro (“there is a dog” in Spanish) to get some appraisal. From Chicago, home of the Blackhawks, this quartet's debut album is an amusing slab of Thin Lizzyesque heavy metal with a big dose of punk rock. 

Vocally wise, it's often using the hardcore punk/punk rock tropes of old with these fast paced shouted but clean vocals that are both very catchy and aggressive, think of Black Flag or Minor Threat with an added metal charm and a certain modern component. While there's a certain punk ingredient in Hay Perro's music, it's combined to the heavy metal/hard rock identity of the band and this is still their prevalent one. The vocals on the other hand are almost entirely falling into punk territories. It's still a very cohesive experience and the combination of the twin guitar attacks inspired by the likes of Priest, Maiden and the aforementioned Lizzy with the vocals works well.

The band stays on the fast lane for the whole album but there's some speed variations and there's two tracks where they give themselves the opportunity to branch out a little such as the title track, the last song of the album and its epic feel. It's a groovy record with a bunch of interesting riffs but it would had been fun to hear some longer blistering guitar solos like we can hear in their patrons' music, sure there's some like on “Vicious Beast” but they're fairly short and a bit too restrained most of the time. Anyway, it's always better to attack full on with a barrage of riffs than to add numerous leads to the deal but some more twin guitars soloing interactions would had been appreciated!

So, if a mix of heavy metal à la NWOBHM, old school punk rock and groovy hard rock doesn't interest you, you're probably reading the wrong review or you've been lost for a while. While not groundbreaking and masters of their craft, these boys (and girl) are cool enough and you'll  have a good time listening to this album if you dig the mix of styles they play.

The production job is thorough and just old school enough to give a sort of timeless sound to the album while avoiding to fall into saccharine modern territories or into the weak DIY production often plaguing young bands. Unfortunately, their second and final album Desert of Nowhere (2014) has a weaker production for some reason but the songwriting is still interesting and worth checking out. Hay Perro broke up too soon and I hope its members will reappear in new projects soon as they're obviously talented.

Hay Perro on Facebook
The album on Bandcamp

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