ALBUM REVIEW: Hesitation Wounds – Chicanery

Release Date: August 30th 2019
Label: Deathwish, Inc.
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A hardcore supergroup of sorts, Hesitation Wounds are back with their second full-length offering, ‘Chicanery’.

For those not in the know, the band’s composed of Stephen LaCour (Trap Them), Neeraj Kane (The Hope Conspiracy), Thomas Cantwell (Gouge Away), and Jeremy Bolm (Touché Amoré).

Those involved in this project are best known for being involved with bands that are recognised for their raw expression of fraught emotions, but Bolm and co. may have need another outlet in recent years, and this is evident from this sophomore effort.

With Converge‘s Kurt Ballou behind the mixing desk, you’re pretty much guaranteed a perfect encapsulation of any pissed-off energy that you may be harnessing. ‘Viewing (Pt. 2)’ is a slow interlude to ease us in, but the record very quickly and surprisingly picks up a gear.

We quickly realise that this is very much in the vein of what you’d expect, even if the bands that the members are best known for don’t exactly sound like each other. There’s room for a slight grindcore influence to creep through, however; ‘Paragons Of Virtue’ is full of bile musically, and lyrically, the political and socially conscious lyrical narratives are clear, and the aforementioned song leaves no stone unturned with the message. The same can also be said for the angry, self-explanatory ‘Charlatan Fuck’.

Many bands are reaching for these lyrical narratives now, of course (and with a quick glance at the news, why wouldn’t you?), but that’s not to say there’s no conviction behind this. The pent-up frustration and anger is palpable all the way through the record, and ‘Trending’ somehow manages to be even faster and intense than what’s come before, with Bolm‘s raspy shout commanding as always.

The double-time punk of ‘At Our Best When We’re Asleep’ is lyrically more personal, and, while ‘Hellevangelist’ isn’t as coated in fury as some of the other offerings here, it very much offers the ante. While the slower ‘Ends (Pt. 3)’ may not have been quite necessary (a slow-burning ending may be better suited to a longer record), it serves as a decent enough finale.

On this showing, Hesitation Wounds‘ return will be a very welcome one in the hardcore world indeed. ‘Chicanery’ pulls no punches, serving us a white-hot burst of righteous anger.