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Hearse Pileup - Realise (self-released)

4 July 2024

It is with great timing on the part of Hearse Pileup that I am sitting down to write this with a UK general election taking place today and a US election not too far away. It is timely because this titular opening salvo from their new EP sends a strong message. Are such elections, it asks, just the distraction tactics of a democratic system that is anything but? Are they just the right amount of show and bluster required to give the appearance that the man and woman in the street actually have a say in not only who leads the country but how they do it? Or, more directly, if the game is rigged, how do you win it?

Hearse Pileup makes music in that brash and bombastic sonic subduction zone where the urges and energy of punk merge with the (slightly) more nuanced sounds of what followed it. They take stoner rock’s looseness, no small amount of grunge intensity, and the ferocity and rawness of garage rock and mix and match those additional tones and textures with their already established, straight-out punk credentials.

And if “Realise” ties the question of democracy lines to raw guitars and ferocious pace, “Grindstone” delivers a diatribe about the nine-to-five, the rat race, the daily grind, via the gnarliest depth-charge bass you have come across, and making up this triptych is “We’re All Going To Hell,” a suitably stomping, anthem to oblivion.

Punk’s not dead; it just grew up a bit, got with the program and found something more productive to say. It still hates the world, but at least now it has learned to articulate its thoughts much better.