In the event of a worldwide nuclear war, I have come to the conclusion that only one thing will survive. And no, it is not the cockroach; it's Hoods. The Sacramento-based hardcore band has survived it all, including constant line-up battles, DIY tours across the globe, and a brief tenure with Victory Records that didn't go so well - see "The King is Dead." Now comfortable with their new home at Eulogy, the band is serving up ten brand new songs that have something for everyone in the form of Ghetto Blaster.
Hoods kick things off with the title-track, a menacing two minutes and fifteen seconds of classic Hoods filled to the brim with punishing hardcore. The vocals on this track are extra sinister - I'm pretty sure this is one of the songs with new touring vocalist Wreak Havoc (of NJ Bloodline fame) at the mic. The liner notes don't designate who sings on which tracks, but Havoc, regular vocalist Ben Garcia, and guitarist Mike Hood are all credited with vocals duties on the album. "I Can't Take This" continues with a similar sound, though there is a cool upbeat break towards the middle of the song that changes up the flow of the song.
Over the years, Hoods have always been a band to mix things up. They never stuck to writing just hardcore songs; they fused a lot of punk, metal, and oi into their sound, no doubt an ode to their varied influences. "Willie Nelson and a 12 Pack" shows a different side of Hoods than we've ever heard before. The song is essentially a cock-rock punk song - that description sounds much worse than it is, trust me. I'll admit I completed hated this song when I first heard it, but after a few spins it has grown on me - definitely never expected to hear something like it from Hoods.
"Serenity" and "Road Warrior" both fly by in typical Hoods-style. "Dance with the Devil" reminds me a lot of a song from Pray for Death; it starts with a slow building metal-ish opening before picking up the pace and turning into a ruckus-raising hardcore-punk affair. The ruckus continues with "Beat Cops," a less-than-a-minute verbal assault on cops; while listening images of police officers abusing their powers flashed in my head.
"Don't Fight! Let's Party Tonight" is a return of the rock-n-roll sound that we heard earlier on the record. And while I wasn't feeling it before, this time around my response was a little different. No doubt the reason is the hilariously catchy chorus: "Don't fucking fight! Let's party tonight / If you're straightedge, don't worry, I'll buy you a Sprite." It's rather childish, but the song is quite enjoyable.
"Can't Stop the Game" finally sees the band returning to their more aggressive metal-fused hardcore sound. The riffs are hard, especially the breakdown just before the midpoint. Ghetto Blaster is closed out with two live tracks, the title-track from their last EP and "Ernie Cortez," a dedication to their recently passed away comrade of Powerhouse notoriety. The songs actually don't sound all that live, they almost come off as demo tracks as there is little-to-no crowd interaction.
The artwork for Ghetto Blaster done by Sean Taggart (The Jerky Boys, Mental) is excellent. The hooligans depicted on the cover are exactly the mixed bag you'd expect at a Hoods show: a hardcore kid tearing it up, a punk kid skankin' it, a scene gal standing in the corner, Busta Rhymes, a bullÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ okay, so maybe not all these characters would be caught at Hoods show. Nevertheless, it looks awesome.
Bottom-line, I would have preferred this recording to be a bit longer. Even with the live tracks, it only clocks in at just over twenty-two minutes. Not that I'd expect a hardcore record to last an hour, but they could have at least make it to that thirty-minute mark, especially with their previous release being a short EP. In short, the king may be dead, but Hoods will probably continue to blast out tunes forever.
7.0 / 10
Posted March 10, 2009, 3:21 p.m.
I Scream Records has announced the signing of long-running Sacramento, CA hardcore outfit Hoods. The band will release their latest full-length offering, Pit Beast, in May.
Posted June 3, 2007, 3:32 a.m.
Agnostic Front will hitting the road for a headlining tour with Hoods and Pledge of Resistance. Municipal Waste and Subzero will be splitting opening duties on the tour. To view ...
Posted Feb. 1, 2007, 9:09 p.m.
The title track from Hoods forthcoming full-length, Ghetto Blaster, has been posted online here. The album is due out April 10th via Eulogy Recordings.
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