|Death Metal, Grindcore, Thrash Metal
April 19th, 2014
Release length: 17:14
For Hang Ten, Ghoul have taken their So-Cal Crossover Thrash and Death Metal approach on the road with a gritty biker Punk style over the course of the EP’s six tracks. “The Midnight Ride of the Cannibals MC” establishes this with the revving of motorcycle engines and a rough “Cannibals… ride!” before kicking off what ends up being an extended guitar solo that has a hint of Progressive Metal to it. “Sidehackers” is another instrumental with plenty of hooks and changes to the music that keep it fresh. There is a spoken word segment a little past a minute in, and it fits the general atmosphere quite well. While the song still has traits of bands like Suicidal Tendencies, the Punk influence feels like early Gwar without a large comedic presence. This can also be said about “Kreeg,” which is one of songs that genuinely shine on this release thanks to the amount of energy on display laced with a tighter overall performance.
But no song on this release screams surfer Metal more than the title track. “Hang Ten” really pushes the So-Cal atmosphere thanks to the infectious laid back hooks, as well as the catchy bass presence that has a stronger Rockabilly touch. Of course this does violate some of the biker elements that most of Hang Ten establishes, as does “Blood on the Street.” This one is slower, coming off worn down and dismal, though not at all in a bad way. There are some additional sounds of a bar fight, motorcycles revving, and what sounds like some simple organ notes in the background towards the end that add a little more life to the longer performance that does seem to go on a bit too long by the three-and-a-half minute mark.
Hang Ten ends up a largely instrumental throw back to the glory days of the So-Cal style through Punk, Crossover Thrash and Rockabilly. It even resorts to using a rougher audio quality to back up the gritty, often laid back atmosphere of the music superbly as well. Ghoul accomplishes exactly what they set out to do, and there’s no denying this release is an acquired taste that not even many fans of the band’s material will probably warmly embrace, especially at first. Admittedly there are times where the songs just aren’t all that memorable, such as the extended conclusion to “Blood on the Street,” and the less than impressive “It Was a Good Year,” but there’s still enough to make it worth checking out.
01. The Midnight Ride of the Cannibals MC – 2:02
02. Kreeg – 2:45
03. Slidehackers – 3:32
04. Hang Ten – 4:20
05. Blood on the Street – 4:02
06. It Was a Very Good Year – 2:22
|Initial Pressing Score: 7/10