In an age where the term ‘punk rock’ is regularly attributed to sanitised, pre-packaged, watered-down, radio-friendly nuggets as disposable as yesterday’s bubble-gum, the world of music is in need of something potent, something tangible, something palpably dangerous. Having wrecked venues (in some cases literally) up and down the country, Baby Godzilla were the shot in the arm the underground needed, embodying the spirit of bullshit-free punk attitude, forcefully ramming their terrifying concoction of discordant riffs and erratic screaming down the throats of the disaffected and disenfranchised.
Baby Godzilla were unstoppable, until that is the real Godzilla stepped in and stomped all over them. Toho Limited, the Japanese film company who own the rights to the Godzilla franchise, insisted the band stop using the ‘Godzilla’ name immediately or suffer financially crippling consequences. Beaten but not broken, the band rose like a particularly delinquent phoenix from the flames and re-christened themselves Heck. The name may have changed but the aim remains the same, to deliver the same level of white-hot deranged brutal noise and create wide-spread pandemonium in venues, fields and tents across the world.
Recorded output from the band has thus far consisted of three EPs. Npag (2010) gave the band a foundation in very veryheavy Blues, before the 7-track Oche (2012) opened up their sound into more ambitious, abrasive and worryingly unhinged territory, all the while managing to capture the energy and tumultuous lunacy of their live show. Knockout Machine (2013) was the mechanical hard-hitting Tyson its name suggested, firmly pushing the band over the cliff-edge marked ‘sheer insanity’. Two of the UK’s most proficient and forward-thinking bands have seen fit to release Heck’s material on their own labels. The songs Don’t Touch That Dial and The Great Hardcore Swindle were released as vinyl singles via Gallows’ Venn and Enter Shikari’s Ambush Reality respectively, with the latter being the first non-Enter Shikari release to be released on that label. 2016 will see the release of Heck’s debut album, a snarling cornucopia of crushing riffs delivered with all the subtlety of a Molotov Cocktail to the face. The Breakers, the first single to be released under the Heck name, is a powerful barrage of savage riffs and wild-eyed intensity that merely hints at the shape of ferocity to come from their stunning debut record.
The band show an impressive grasp of DIY creativity in everything they do, whether that be releasing 100 handmade copies of Knockout Machine on CD with individual artwork, creating their own beer, Bullhorn, a seasonal IPA in association with Signature Brew or the ingenuity that goes into their videos. Promos for the likes of The Great Hardcore Swindle (give each band member £25 to construct a ‘battle suit’ and fight!), Don’t Touch That Dial (sadistically put the band through torture) or Trogloraptor (drink as much Jäger in the song’s 36-second length as possible) are the marks of a band using their heads rather than their wallets.
The live arena is where punk really shines and Heck are no exception. Breaking down any remnants of a barrier, the band are their audience, frequently re-defining the limits of a ‘stage’ to literally bring anarchy to the masses. A Heck show is a truly immersive sensory 360° experience; whether hanging from lighting rigs, serving themselves shots at the bar, swinging from chandeliers, crowd-surfing atop amplifiers or creating the world’s smallest mosh pit in an industrial-sized wheelie bin, you can guarantee that the mind-boggling spectacle you encounter at a Heck show will be quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before. They’ve provided exceptional tour support to the likes of Limp Bizkit, Black Spiders, Gallows and Enter Shikari. Unsurprisingly, given the legendary status already attributed to their shows, the band were nominated for Best Live Band at the Kerrang! Awards 2014. Critics and fans alike are regularly stunned by their flagrant disregard for their own personal well-being, health and safety being a notion that seems utterly frivolous in the eyes of these four deranged oiks from Nottingham. If you are at a Heck show, you are not merely a spectator, you are a participant, whether you like it or not.
With the trials and tribulations of 2015 behind them, 2016 promises to be a breakthrough year for Heck. The debut album, released via their own label Npag Industries, is the most ambitious statement of their career-to-date, providing an uncompromising blueprint for chaos that will no doubt see the band add to their already legendary list of live shows. They’ll be hitting the road in March with all the delicacy of an atom bomb, leaving a trail of fire, chaos and Jägermeister in their wake. It’s the end of the world and by Heck do we feel fine.
21 London, The Borderline TICKETS
'Bruises, blood and broken glass are their currency. They are, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the single best live bands the UK has seen in an age' - Metal Hammer
“One of the UK’s most destructive live bands” - Rock Sound
“One of the most incendiary, exciting, raucous and frankly downright dangerous bands the UK” – The Independent
“Absolutely, categorically not for the faint of heart.” Kerrang!