Album Review #6: Hot Zone – Please Take One

Genre: Thrash, Hardcore

Release Date: October 21

When I first saw the cover art of Please Take One, I just had to listen to it given the time of the year. As it suggests, this is a Halloween EP that merges thrash metal and hardcore. In this review, you will see whether or not this combo works.

The cover art of Please Take One just shouts ‘Halloween!’

For about 15 minutes, Hot Zone blast you with hardcore and thrash riffs. These are accompanied by more or less presentable singing and standard shouts as they are common in hardcore. However, the lyrics stick out through their irony and the way that they parody run-off-the-mill hardcore, as you will see in the next chapter. This applies to five of this EP’s songs and the record closes with an AFI cover.

Halloween-Hardcore

The party begins with a sample and the fitting words ‘Trick’r’Treat Motherfucker’. This intro in the song Easier To Die is about as subtle as a car crash. This is followed by some typical riffs and a hardcore shout out: ‘Oh yeah, motherfuckers, welcome to the Hot Zone Halloween EP! Now gimme some fucking CANDY!’ The performance of these lines is spot-on hardcore and the obvious irony ridicules some HC veterans who take themselves too seriously while giving themselves shout outs similar to this. With this track, the band sets the tone for the rest of the record: nothing on this is to be taken seriously and this EP is mereley supposed to be funny.

https://hotzone69.bandcamp.com/track/easier-to-die

Cannonball Mash is an appeal for hardcore kids to enjoy themselves on shows. On this track, the band parodies the scene yet again: ‘We came here to dance and not to engage in a one person fight.’ Instead of telling people to twostep or side to side, they are told to ‘get real spooky’ and act like ‘you’re a human spider’. If you know what shows used to look like before the ‘rona, and how certain singers, for instance Scott Vogel constantly ask the crowd for participation, these references are pure gold. The vocals on this track are really simple but they could be performed in this exact way by other bands in this genre. Again, the band’s depiction of hardcore is spot-on.

Shirley Lawless is a song about the police, in which the singer explains that he means ‘Fuck 12’ literally if the cops are female and sexy. Ugh! The almost obligatory ‘1312 mindest’ of the scene is taken very seriously in this song and made fun off a little. Meanwhile, calm instrumentals accompanied by the vocals take turns with instrumental heavier parts dominated by thrash riffs.

The fourth song could be described quite fittingly as an 80s or 90s cartoon intro. Frankenstein & Friends combines punk rock-ish singing with thrash and hardcore riffs that take turns with one another. My favourite quote: ‘Aaargh Aaargh! OH! OH!’ This band’s humour is incredibly blunt but fun if you just roll with it.

In Pat You Down, the band makes sure that you don’t get them wrong when they say ‘Fuck 12’: ‘When we say you can get hit, we mean like sex, not that you get hurt or shot or anything like that’. The bluntness and absurdity of this in context just makes this all the more hilarious. The singer adds this as an explanation after a verse and essentially explains his own songs lyrics mid-track. Again, the band assures you that nothing on this EP is to be taken seriously.

It closes with Total Immortal, which is dominated by clear singing and thus quite different from the preceding songs. The singing is not quite on point or in tune but this is fun like the rest of the album.

Closing Thoughts:

Please Take One is a fun parody EP that takes standard tropes of hardcore and ridicules them in an extreme manner. The addition of a Halloween theme adds to this nicely and makes it all the more funny. However, the record does not really go beyond that. The band touches on clichés and tropes but uses them as well. Accordingly, they do not create anything new, at least when it comes to the music.

The lyrical content shines though, as the irony just sticks out. The lyrics are over the top and ridiculous, which makes the band’s parody of overly serious hardcore all the more effective and funny.

All in all, I give this a 6/10. This EP managed to entertain me but it is not that great to be honest. However, that most likely was never the purpose of this EP. It is supposed to be funny and the band does not try to make serious or innovative music, so you should consider their work with this in mind. Apart from that, I have to commend them for being funny. Since Good Clean Fun, this is the first band that really made me laugh because of their lyrics and that’s definitely a positive thing. I guess, the band accomplished what they hoped for, so mission accomplished.

As always thanks for reading.

-sovlpvnk

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Published by sovlpvnk

On this blog, I talk about the alternative music scene and its ethics as well as LGBTQIAP+ -related topics. I mostly write about asexuality, political issues and their representation in media. Expect content in English and German every two weeks.

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