Review: Hemlock

“Pigeon Holed”

Actually, this was produced by Mikey Doling.  You Snot fans might remember him on guitar.  He believes in this band.  I saw them live and after complimenting them on having the coolest merch booth I ever saw, one of them was kind enough to toss me a disk.  He also told me it was produced by Mikey Doling, so the name dropping in the intro is justified.  The music:  screaming metal, fast metal, grumbly metal and draino bleached vocals.  It’s got enough contemporary flavor of downtuned guitars and crunchy stop/start guitars to have more in common with the nu school of metal, but the approach is fairly straight forward.  Loud.  Original enough to float to the surface above the marketable metal heap?  ‘Kill Your Children’ might do it with it’s unholy delivery of inhuman vocals screaming ‘Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill…Kill Your Children’.  Brutal stuff.  The vocals are best when they are using their presence more than means for lyrical delivery as much of the verses are growled with an undynamic repetition making the dragging tracks worth skipping.  But when Hemlock keep them tempos pumping (why do I keep feeling Ministry’s ‘Just One Fix’ in their songs, this band is nothing like Ministry) the machine growls along at maximum impact.  More use the sung backing vocals in ‘The Sky Is Falling’ would do wonders for the overall Hemlock vibe.  Aside from the Kill Your Children song, much of this slips by as a decent metal.  At best.