Simplicity. All of the best things in life are simple. A basic entity stripped down to nothing more than raw, basic elements. Bread. Fire. A sunset. A drizzle of honey. Punk rock. No additives required and no amount of schmaltz, sweetener or enhancement can bolster that primeval oomph that these staples deliver to the senses. Montreal’s Hood Rats are living proof.
Hood Rats are all in this great world that embodies raw, honest, straight to the gut punk rock. No bullshit here. Just balls to the wall, cut throat rock ‘n’ roll played and recorded the way punk rock ought to be; on cheap equipment, in a bedroom, loud, bratty and obnoxious with a D.I.Y. tradition so deeply embedded in the genre’s DNA, that it’s almost criminal to play it any other way.
Hood Rats’ ‘Digital Wasteland’ is a D.I.Y. high colonic. Ridding one’s entrails of hindering impurities such as over-production, big-budget self-importance, and that irritating kernel of late nineties pop-punk corn that’s been lodged in your bowel for the past two decades. It’s a ten track onslaught of blistering rock ‘n’ roll played with pure venom and emotion that calls the bygone ethos of Canada’s Subhumans, early 80’s DC hardcore or the burgeon of punk rock in late 70’s Australia.
By no means is ‘Digital Wasteland’ solely a punk or hardcore record, it’s as damn entertaining as it is brutal with a rock ‘n’ roll swagger that is sadly missing from the vast majority of punk records today.
And it’s on the album opener ‘Cheap Rent’ where this point is driven home right from the get go. The riffage is intense and keeps the listener wound up and on edge, only letting loose on brief occasion so you can… y’know… breathe. But what comes through most of all on this track and the nine remaining is that these dudes are having nothing but great fun. Isn’t that all we ask for from our music?
Look, if it’s slick production and a jolly good sing-a-long lyric you’re looking for, then you’re shit out of luck with ‘Digital Wasteland’. But if it’s honest, raw, loud and emotive punk rock that floats your boat, then I suggest you hop on over to Bandcamp right now and download yourself a copy. IT’S FREE!
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“Our music is free to download. If you want to support us come out and see our live show.”