Hey Colossus – The Guillotine

Back in 2015, Hey Colossus blessed their willing congregation with a double album release, In Black & Gold and Radio Static High which still remain critically acclaimed to this day with their heavy Desert Rock and bluesy influences painted throughout each composition. With Hey Colossus’ dedicated fanbase showing immense satisfaction from the aforementioned, one has to question whether or not the band can live up to the high bar they set at their previous go-round. But with the release of their 11th full-length album, The Guillotine on Rocket Recordings [once again], this six-piece gang of hustlers has steered their cargo in a slightly more post-hardcore direction thus potentially ridding themselves of the “best-kept secret” title and into the spotlight, gaining the visibility they deserve.

The Guillotine kicks off with the most curious yet memorable track on the album, ‘Honest To God’. This track is one of many that have the bass line at its forefront, drawing similarities to the early 90s era of Frodus and Slint (to name of few) and their knack for such moody grooves. Lyrically, ‘Honest To God’ can easily be the crowd pleaser of the album, with its themes of authoritative distaste and government corruption. Furthermore – the vocal performance throughout the album, in all its dirty sarcastic glory (with an Interpol-esque undertone), yields for very communal chants. Additional stand-out tracks include their single ‘The Englishman’, ‘Potions’ and ‘In A Collision’, all of which radiate this barbaric dreariness that one will fail to resist every time.

There are some risky elements in The Guillotine where the riffage can be quite forgetful lending to a sense of confusion such as in ‘Back In The Room’. The nearly arpeggio-based guitar melodies seemingly become lost in each other leading to a lost listener. However, things start to come together again near the end of the track when the drums decide to settle into a slower, more pronounced groove. On a much brighter note, the title track is potentially in the run-in for the best album closer of 2017, with its western-like waltz and heavy amplification. All of the Hey Colossus members join together for a grimy harmonious carol about the end of suffering through execution by the guillotine. And with the overall hesitant chug of the guitar, bass & drums, it’s no wonder why chills continue up the spine throughout the 7+ minute ordeal.

With such an impressive track record thus far since their formation in 2003, Hey Colossus is continuing to make impressive compositions that both satisfy pre-existing fans and intrigue newer ones. Although the question of Hey Colossus’ best record will remain debatable amongst their avid fanbase, The Guillotine will most definitely be among the highest rated.