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Album Review
Blood Will Out

Blood Will Out
by Head Like A Hole


Review Date
19th July 2011
Reviewed by
Ricardo Kerr

If there is one lesson that you can learn from a band like Head Like A Hole (his mates call him HLAH) it is that solid Kiwi rock never dies. It just gets uglier, dirtier, and more prone to expletive laden outbursts. In 2009 they released The Devil Makes Work For Idle Hands. Forget any notions that it was a fluke, and the sheer belly-fire that the band brought out then is still present. You can hear it all over Blood Will Out, their brand new eighth album. Just as the name implies, Blood Will Out is a promise. It promises violence, malevolence, and a complete disregard for conventional wisdom. In that regard Blood Will Out is a promise well kept. HLAH deliver a fistful of abrasive scum rock the likes of which have been rarely seen since the early nineties. Raw, twisted songs in the vein of White Zombie and Butthole Surfers is their specialty and they are unlikely to be beaten at their own game.

Blood Will Out starts with the album’s first single ‘Swagger of Thieves’. Rusty toothed guitars positively cut through the pounding beat. Nigel ‘Booga’ Beazley sounds even more rugged in his older years and it adds another layer of jagged filth to the song. “One I was a savage but the savage is dead” he howls. The duel guitars of Nigel Regan and Andrew Ashton can cut like knives or draw you deep into their sonic soup cauldron. Further along ‘Valhalla’ is rock-solid rock monument to bad behaviour, an unhinged rollercoaster of gnarled riffs and crude balladry. It is pure unadulterated fun that is reminiscent of Faith No More at their heaviest. The hoarse chants of the song’s title that lead the track out into the closing guitar solo are made to pump your fist along to as you down that next handle. Death of Friend breaks up the flow a bit and drops the tempo to a sludgy Black Sabbath pace. It is a tormented dirge that drags on for seven long minutes of down-tuned noise. You may not sit through all of it but you probably should. Three of the final four tracks combine to make a monstrous trilogy (Monsta X, Y, and Z) that stretches over twelve minutes of head banging groove. They bristle with attitude, menace, and unkempt solos at every turn. Of the three ‘Hardest Battle (Monsta Y)’ is the strongest and has a Deak Kennedys quality as Beazley preaches hellfire in histrionics a la Jello Biafra. ‘Blood Will Out (Monsta Z)’ touches on the tribal industrial that Killing Joke have been doing for years.

One of the last of a dying breed, HLAH can hold their heads high as they tour this album. Not that I’m telling them what to do; they’ve always known how good they are and have never been shy about proving it. Anyone who has ever seen one of their raucous live shows can attest to the quantity of blood, sweat, and beer that goes into makes a band this formidable. Blood Will Out may not be their greatest album but with a career as long and uncompromising as theirs every new release is worth a hearty celebration at your local pub.


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