Gerald Stansbury.

Hell Nation Army might be new to me, but they have been delivering their punk n roll since 2010. Based in Berlin, I have definitely been missing out over the years based on this new EP. On paper, I think an EP is often thought of as the safe alternative to an album. There are fewer songs so less of a chance that someone will perceive a song as filler. At the same time, a band needs to really deliver the goods on each song on the EP or we kind of write them off as incapable of writing a full album so there might actually be some extra pressure in that regard. Much like the Criminal Kids did earlier this year and Electric Frankenstein did back in the 90’s, Hell Nation Army delivers six songs that leave me wanting more and eager to explore their discography.

‘Gazoline’ gets us started but really any of the six songs here would have been a strong opener. Within the first 30 seconds, the guitar riff establishes itself, and the rhythm section amps up the adrenalin for a full-throttle assault. The call and response vocals on the chorus are mixed extremely well. Chris the Bliss may not have the most diverse voice or vocal talent, but he has character and an identity in his voice that makes for the perfect fit here. ‘Hell Sweet Home’ is based on an awesome guitar riff and a chorus that mandates audience participation. Special notice really must be given to both Beef and Simmi Sixx for their guitar work on this song as the riffs carry it for me.

Sounding like a locomotive roaring down the tracks, ‘Feed the Machine’ shows how to do shouty vocals right with some great early Nashville Pussy type guitar lines providing an additional hook underneath the chorus. If your foot and body are not moving, check your pulse STAT as the chorus is hammered into our brains. ‘Blackout’ features big drums from Ivil and a classic rock n roll riff turned up to 11 and played at maximum speed. The simple chorus works extremely well here, and the guitar solo is immense.

Hell Nation Army never really dial the tempo back at all, but the songs all have their own identities. ‘I Wanna Be Dead’ features some well-done backing vocals that add meat to the chorus. My favorite part of the song though is how the great bridge leads into the guitar solo. ‘Demon Girl’ is rhythm heavy with a chunky groove featuring some great work by Ivil and Kapt’n (bass). Based on the lyrics, I have concluded that Chris losing his soul has apparently turned out very well for all of us because we get these great songs out of the deal. In my notes on this song, I keep scribbling a bit of Motorhead in the mix.

Punk n roll seems to be a genre enjoying a rebirth, which is great for me as I have always loved the energy and approach of this style with the hooks and classic riffs designed for catchy short songs. Hell Nation Army has created an EP that can be played over and over again with more subtle elements rising out of the songs thanks to the great mix on the record. When Electric Frankenstein was releasing 10” vinyl EPs, I would play them until I was afraid the grooves were wearing off the album. It is probably a good thing that can’t happen digitally. Now, let’s crank up the volume and rattle the foundation by playing all six songs again.

‘Anthems for the Misanthropic’ is released October 13th