Friday, January 24, 2014



Hazzard’s Cure is a band from San Francisco in sunny California. Not heard of them before I was intrigued to hear what they sound like after their drummer Clint Baechle got in touch with me asking me politely if I could listen to their new 3-track release The Ugly EP. I am a sucker for nice cool artwork as it quite often makes me press play a lot quicker and in the case of The Ugly EP the stunning artwork by Lukas Krieg definitely got my attention. The metal world seems to have evolved into a symbiotic relationship with fantastic artwork similar to how a clownfish and an anemone need each other in order to survive. It simply is a mutualistic relationship.
Now, let’s focus on The Ugly EP. What we’re dealing with here are 3 tracks of thunderous thrashy heavy metal, dipping into more progressive and extremer blackened metal genres at times. Bassist Shane Bergman plugs away impressively on the 3 tracks on offer here and the drums are up tempo with plenty of nice fills and breaks. The vocals by guitarist Chris Corona have a bit of a Lemmy-like rawness to them and guitarist Leo Buckley is shredding away like there’s no tomorrow.

There is quite a bit of Motörhead going on here, perhaps it’s the bass playing or those vocals, but halfway the second track ‘The Ugly’ the sound turns around a bit to some progressive melodic metal piece, with melodic solos over slower played drums. But then it kicks back into heavier chugging riffs and a near Darkthrone-like black metal sounding shredding ending this fantastic slab of heavy metal.

The last track ‘The Body Amorphous’ hits upon all these above mentioned elements even more as this track is a near 7 minutes heavy metal track of epic proportions. It reminds me a lot of Vöhl, one of last year’s highlights as it’s all blackened heavy metal played in that extra gear, thundering away. The guest vocals by Laurie Sue Shanaman of legendary avant-garde black metal band Ludicra are awesome and fit the music perfectly.

There is only one minor criticism here, this EP is way too short! I want more of this! If you were as impressed as I was by Vöhl’s release last year or you’re a fan of blackened, thrashy heavy metal then I recommend you get this in your system right now. The EP is available as digital download for only a couple of bucks, but German label Ulterior Records are releasing a limited run on transparent one sided 12" vinyl with a screenprint on the b side in February. So you know what to do!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Too many people slept on the 2011 full-length debut from San Francisco's Hazzard's Cure – a very enthusiastic hodgepodge of knotty thrash, sludge, stoner and the kitchen sink that coulda-shoulda-woulda landed the band on a Hell of a lot more radars if the Earth was actually a fair place to inhabit. Alas, these dirtballs remain mostly unheralded, so the respective members supplement extra time not spent crapping together on a fancy tour bus by laboring in a pile of other notable Bay Area outfits such as Walken, OWL, and Bädr Vogu.

Well, now any previous "sorry, never heard of 'em" transgressions can thankfully be washed away by re-dedicating some worthy time to the freshly dropped Hazzard's EP, The Ugly – 17 minutes of very enthusiastic knotty thrash that dismisses virtually all of the previous effort's sludge in favor of a more blackened blister that's further bolstered by a guest vocal appearance (background on "Terminal Frost" and lead on "The Body Amorphous") from howler Laurie Shanaman of sadly defunct SF legends, Ludicra.

As evidenced by the bulk of the above tune, The Ugly is primarily concerned with the task of hacking faces to ribbons, but there are a couple moments where the band allows their softer, prettier side to emerge – like a tiny glimpse of a rainbow in a spill of dirty oil. All-in-all, The Ugly represents another glimpse into a talented Bay Area band that somehow manages to survive and thrive, despite getting paid mostly in cheap beer and dusty schwag. Don't let this one pass by unnoticed. [Michael Wuensch]