Essential Listening: Download Festival Australia 2020 (Hellions)
Words by Luke Winchester
Well how about that? Hellions have been included in the second announcement for Download 2020 and we here at IRH couldn’t be more chuffed.
Hellions are pretty much the perfect festival band, catchy sing-a-longs, bouncy, crunchy pit activating riffs and a back catalogue of absolute, dare we say, bangers. Having formed after the demise of the darlings of the Sydney Hardcore scene The Bride, Hellions wasted no time showing the world what they were about, incorporating infectious guitars hooks, pummeling drums and vocalist Dre’s unique lyrical content and raspy drawl.
What a lot of people might not have picked up on is that MCR are a huge influence to Hellions and they are personally stoked to be included on the DL20 lineup with their musical heroes Gerard & Co. Hellions recently took to Facebook to share their thoughts about things coming full circle for them:
So, you’re a newbie when it comes to Hellions? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with an essential list that takes tracks from all 4 of their full length albums! Now, if you’re a Hellions fan from way back this list might not be exactly your favourites, remember, music is subjective and we’re all here to have fun. (But definitely let us know if we missed anything)
10. Infamita Ft Adrian Fitpaldes (Ex-Northlane)
A slab cut straight from their debut album Die Young "Infamita" features ex-vocalist of Northlane Adrian Fitipaldes and is Hellions at their heaviest, leaning on heavy, bass laden beatdowns and stomping drums, Lyrically calling out cancerous people within the Hardcore scene who are predators towards women, it’s the darkest that Hellions get but by fuck it hits you smack in the mouth:
Hellion’s second album Indian Summer took the band in a new direction and found them expanding their signature Hellion’s stomp with a more melody driven rhythm. Nottingham is a perfect blend of My Chem and punk/hardcore stalwarts Defeater with swirling, hypnotic guitars underpinning Dre’s emotional raspy vocal . A song about love found, love lost, and love forgotten.
8. Hellions feat. JJ Peters and Real Bad of Deez Nuts
3.08 seconds of flat out ruckus, some of the most frantic riffing and vicious vocal lines including lyrics that go for the throats of the Hardcore scenes gatekeepers. This track will absolutely activate the pit so watch for swinging limbs and stage divers.
7. Lotus Eater
A little more of a subdued track from Hellions, "Lotus Eater" finds the band flexing their musically theatrical muscles with an emotionally charged ditty about, well, it’s hard to say really, crackling, esoteric verses coupled with huge, multi layered choruses makes this for a swirling, confusingly enjoyable jaunt.
6. The Penultimate Year
Another blistering punk infused track from their debut Die Young "The Penultimate Year" is pure pit fuel. The thing about Dre’s lyrics is they were never meant to be easily digestible, he has something to say and he doesn’t skirt around the issues, with astounding lines like “My heart is heavy, burdened with the weight of good men and women who could’ve been great” Also, if you came here for the breakdowns, this one’s for you.
Just read the lyrics:
“Fuck you for not being strong enough
For letting me bare the weight of both of us
I can't forever be your crutch (I can't forever be your crutch)
Today I think I've had enough (I think I've had enough)”
Alright, alright, some of the OG Hellions don’t fuck with this song, it’s got hooks for days and could easily be played on any pop-radio station without anyone batting an eyelid. A hugely infectious chorus with simple but fun chorus “If we can shut the fuck up maybe we can learn to smile for once” the real challenge is trying to get it out of your head.
3. X (Mwah)
Tackling the internal monologue of any artist, musician and writer, asking the question “What if I run out of time before i create my masterpiece?” X (Mwah) was the first offering from Hellions 2018 album Rue, expanding on their catalogue with a much grander and somewhat more accessible sound "X" is an uplifting, catchy and soulful track. Another one that will work its way deep into your brain.
Opera Oblivia might very well be Hellions’ The Black Parade and "24" may very well be the crowning jewel on the mantle of MCR worship. A huge chorus section infectiously layered over dizzying melodic guitars and meticulously placed drums that build to the final crescendo. The choir at the end is the absolute highlight, seriously, try and keep a straight face when that kicks in, clap along and all. Be warned, it’s a doozy.
1. Quality of Life
Well, it’s been fun but we both know this had to end and where else could it end but right on the doorstep of one of the best songs released by an Australian hardcore band in recent years. "Quality of Life", taken from their third and arguably best album Opera Oblivia. Let me set the scene for you. We get thrown headfirst into frantic riffing, barked, viciously raspy vocals and bouncy drums. Nice, Right? Well, here comes that chorus. A hugely contagious hook that sinks so deep you can’t help but sing-along. Give me a call in 6-12 months when it isn’t stuck in your head anymore.