The Hell PuppeTs were one of the 57 bands who kindly responded to our callout for interviews as they were featuring at Bloodstock this year on the Jagermeister stage. You can check out their responses here, and then come back while I witter on about how much I enjoyed their debut album, due out on August 14th.
OK, back now? Sitting comfortably? You won’t be for long…
The Hell PuppeTs hail from Lahndaan Tarn and other areas of Great Southern-ness (and Hell, apparently – much of a muchness), and they’re a horror-based blend of metal and punk – the heavier tone of the former with the in-your-face attitude of the latter. Switching gaily between near-death styles with “Born To Die” and the almost bouncy “… From Hell”, The Hell PuppeTs do their best to defy pigeonholing, though the one thing they maintain throughout is that perfect whiff of cheese. I would have said they were tongue-in-cheek, but they strike me as the kind of band who would take that literally, applying a switchblade to an unsuspecting victim’s face before yanking their tongue through the gaping wound and holding it tight until they choked on their own blood.
I don’t think they so much as pause to draw breath from the first track to the last so I can’t even begin to imagine the carnage that would result from one of their gigs. “Project Mayhem” perhaps sums things up. One of the more upbeat, punk numbers it’s just designed to have a crowd kick seven bells out of each other.
That punk attitude continues with “Political Diarrhoea”, a song with carries the flag for anti-authoritarianism which was a founding cornerstone of the genre. This segues in to the utterly mental Lawnmower Deth-esque “Drugged Up Shark”. A minute of non-stop face-ripping brutality, like the best bits of every Jaws film crammed into a minute and eight seconds. Someone, somewhere has to come up with some kind of dancefloor antic for this. Wall of Death with sharks or something? I dunno. Needs more mental.
“We Are The Enemy” gives the band that crowd-grabbing sing-along, punching the air chorus that it needs to completely round out any live show. Dipping their toes back into death metal waters, “The Decunted” is about as fucked-up as you’d expect with that title.
Top track for me, though, is probably right back at the start of the album. “…From Hell” is, unsurprisingly perhaps, based on the Jack the Ripper story. It’s a breakneck-paced, non-stop piece of schlock horror that Wednesday 13 himself would be proud of. It also features the beautifully ridiculous word “Jack the Ripper / La la la la la” in the chorus, which would automatically qualify it for entry in next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. It’s bonkers – The Murderdolls meets Chas ‘n’ Dave. Check it out below.
I’ve only got a streamed version of this album to listen to for review which is a bugger as it means I’m just going to have to buy a copy when it comes out so I can listen to it in the car. Great stuff.
Theatre of Sin is released on August 14th.