Album Review
2000 & Blood

2000 & Blood
by Proton Beast

Hell Is Now Love

Review Date
3rd May 2012
Reviewed by
Ricardo Kerr

From Dunedin’s brains to Hamilton’s Viking Weed, there is a style of disgruntled punk noise that is quickly becoming favoured in the land of the long white cloud. Are our lives in New Zealand so idyllic that we are craving great tracts of ugly noise to dirty up our leisure time? What ever the reason might be bands like Auckland duo Proton Beast are very much on the rise. On their debut, 2000 & Blood, Westley Holdsworth and Stuart Harwood give us an insight into a style dubbed “disco doom”. This bizarre agenda is pushed further by Proton Beast’s more is more ethos. Nothing on the album comes easily – a mutant blend of doom, metal, punk, hardcore all wrapped up in an irreverent little package. Along the way they give you plenty of opportunities to bang your head, thrash wildly, and possibly shed a little blood if the desire so takes you.

Is it a guitar, is it a computer, or is it the sound of the gates of Hell slowly creaking open? It’s Proton Beast! The punishing grind that kicks off “Wait Of Gold” gives you ample warning of what is to come so either turn tail and run or brace yourself for the incoming noise. What could have added up to little more than just another kiwi rock track has been lovingly coated in a thick acidic slime for your listening displeasure. Listening to the album is an exercise in disbelief. For example do not believe the song title “Glitz and Glamour”, it is anything but. What it is however is an overdose of feedback squall and brutal beats. “W.E.T.M” is closer to the vein of incendiary punk rock, picking up the pace nicely. At their core Proton Beast are making abrasive sludge pop that is bad for your health and this song demonstrates that point ably. After all of this madness a song called “The Verse” might sound like a cruel joke but it is easily the most coherent track on the album, for what that is worth. The track recalls post-hardcore luminaries Refused by way of US sludge peddlers Kylesa. 2000 & Blood ends unceremoniously with the raucous “Ted Zeppelin” that has an uncomfortable swagger, like someone farming too many hornets in their pants.

The production throughout is jagged and raw which not only suits the malevolent little ditties to the ground but gives it a real smack of authenticity. You know by listening to it that 2000 & Blood was made by a couple of sweaty dudes from Wellington, you can feel their breath uncomfortably close to you. There is no pretentious sheen to get in their way or water down the intensity of these so-called tunes. The band’s motto is ‘just because it’s heavy doesn’t mean you can’t dance’ and this EP is an excellent argument for that baffling credo. If you like a guitar tone so filthy you could chip your teeth on it, then Proton Beast is the band you have been looking for. And who needs to sing when you can yell and wield your words like weapons?


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