Review: “Sandmine” by (hed)p.e.

Last years well received “Class Of 2020” which was released on the 20th Anniversary of their seminal album “Broke” was supposed to be their last record in a while but when drama hits, (hed)p.e. frontman and mastermind Jared Gomes gets inspired and we’ve certainly had plenty of that. Recorded at Gomes’s home studio in Idaho, this new EP is one co-written and co-produced by lifelong fan and multi instrumentalist Remy Dovianus, who based in The Netherlands took it upon himself to try and harness the essence of the bands signature sound from their biggest releases for this one. Drummer Jeremiah “Trauma” Stratton then threw down the drum parts and the rest as they say is history. At the release of the lyric video for the title track, Gomes commented: “The pandemic, the election, the reaction, the pending birth of my daughter… all these experiences fuelled the inspiration forĀ ‘Sandmine’. The title itself names a brutal place where only the strong survive and few are able to escape.

The one criticism of “Class Of 2020” was that guitars and bass weren’t big enough in the mix and that issue has been dealt with here and gives “Sandmine” an instantly gratifying crunch. The title cut sits neatly between the material of “Broke” and “Blackout” with some Sonny Mayo esq guitar moments heard on this one. Gomez mixes up his vocals so you get a blend of spoken word, sung, rap and his signature unclean in small bursts with a classic Nu-Metal bounce which gives it instant appeal; you can certainly see people getting down in the pit to this one and singing a long. “False Prophet” then turns on the Government with a thinly veiled swipe at Donald Trump that goes straight punk and blows up the whole block, Gomez is fired up and the vinyl scratch breakdown that bursts into the unclean rap scream passage that brings the house down in the final third is classic G-Punk, Huntington Beach (hed)p.e. and will put a smile on the face of every old school fan. “R.T.R.” takes inspiration from Suicidal Tendencies and fuses Hip-Hop and Crossover Thrash Punk together in a guitar fuelled attack with funky basslines that has a moment for a melodica solo before the vinyl scratching comes down in the close, again absolute classic (hed)p.e. but with something fresh about it. “Death Trip” brings more of a Hard Rock swagger with a chant able lyric about taking unnecessary risks while the punk mid-section adds a funky sprinkling, the whole track having the vibe that you’ve heard it before with a catchiness you can’t contain. Reggae Rock finale “Let Me Know” starts off slow and somber before building into a more driven punk guitar attack as Gomez tries to work out what is going on in the mind of a troubled lover. This may only be 20 minutes but it’s certainly right up their amongst the best releases from the band with a back to basics approach that is going to go down a storm live [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Sandmine
  2. False Prophet
  3. R.T.R (Respect The Republic)
  4. Death Trip
  5. Let Me Know

Sandmine” by (hed)p.e. is out now via Suburban Noize Records

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