Review: “Hexed” EP by Plead

A four piece hardcore band from Calgary Alberta Canada called Plead and made up of drummer Layne Frank, bassist Tyler Beninger, guitarist John Hayes and vocalist Marcus Marino dropped their debut EP entitled “Hexed” back at the start of March. They achieved it with the aid of Micheal Williams who mixed and mastered the release and  Garth Philpot who did the artwork.

Getting you warmed up for the first track proper is 70 second instrumental “Incision” with a classic old school hardcore influenced riff over some kit work setting the tone for what’s to come with the sort of bite and menace that you want from any opening foray. Introducing the vocals, “Never Ending Hell” is a short sharp tune the with Marino’s barked uncleans about the streets coming in hard over some decent groove laiden hardcore. The drums are perhaps a couple of notches too loud in the mix but it doesn’t drown anything out, instead showcasing Frank’s skills. There might not be much new here, but there doesn’t need to be. Instead what you get is an instant headbangability and something that makes you want to move. “Salt Wound” takes more of a hardcore punk approach with hints of Agnostic Front in the mix acting as a reminder of the bands of yesterday’s gone with a modern edge. Perhaps lacking the punch of the previous track, while it doesn’t have that instant element, it grows on you over multiple listens.

A classic bassline opens the main riff of  “Caro” like a needle punching the flesh prior to the injection. Mixing up the kit work with some surprises including blast beats allowing for some stuccato riffage, it’s a fine cut. Slowing things down at the back end for a feedback laiden almost ambient style passage that the kit gets battered through is a nice touch but doesn’t have that certain something. The second real stand out tune and the one that got the full music video treatment is “Old Friends New Enemies”. It’s opening distorted speech sample ushers in some tension filled riffs before it kicks off properly. Marino is pissed. That much is clear. His vocals have a bit more edge and it pulls the sentiment of the tune through the mix kicking and screaming. How often has an old friend turned into someone you hate? It happens and it gets ugly. Jack hammering out of the box “Grim Love” stuffers in the mix in places (particularly the intro) with the drums over powering the guitars and bass during th verse like a demo. It’s a shame because the track is actually a decent one with some solid guitar and bass work laying a foundation. There will be more from Plead and it will better than this. They have decent potential and just need the right push to get it nailed down [6/10]

Track listing

  1. Incision
  2. Never Ending Hell
  3. Salt Wound
  4. Caro
  5. Old Friends New Enemies
  6. Grim Love

“Hexed” by Plead is out now and available via bandcamp

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