Hella Grey – Bloodstains (Agent Orange Cover)
Agent Orange’s main musical innovation was their ability to marry surf music to punk rock while maintaining the aggression of hardcore. Bloodstains are, perhaps, their most famous song, although the group maintains a loyal fanbase of all their work.
Hella Grey updates the punk classic but adds their own modern twist to it. A melancholic folk reinterpretation this is not. The hard-rock duo pummels through the cover sounding every bit as snotty and dejected as the group responsible for providing us with the original.
Relentless distorted riffs, shouted vocals and flashy guitar leads make this ideal music for an angry workout. Once the final note dies down, two things remain clear. Hella Grey is a quirky, special unit, and they sincerely love the sound of old-school punk rock.
Melt Citizen – Drunk on the Blood
Melt Citizen’s Drunk on the Blood sounds like the kind of debut record that Sum-41 would have made had they not been given a mainstream recording contract and asked to sound like Blink-182.
Certainly, Melt Citizens are not as bouncy or happy to share sophomoric humour. But, they’re a punk group that knows the importance of memorable, heavy, sharp melodies placed within a format that does not exceed the concentration capacity of the majority of us in an age of instant gratification.
No doubt that Melt Citizen possesses the same-stamina as the pop-punks that saved up enough to buy fancy mansions. But, they use their energy on something that is a lot more melancholy-driven. On second thought, maybe they’re not a band like Sum 41, but rather their depressed, smartass cousin.