(hed) p.e. – Forever!
Written by Ken Bowden for Bloodrock Media on July 18, 2016
After a little more than two decades, nine albums, and a some lineup changes, one may think a band may be a bit out of touch or at the very least, running on fumes, but (hed) p.e.’s upcoming, release entitled Forever!, demonstrates that those are quite simply meaningless statistics with no real significance or quite simply put… bullshit. Forever!, not for the faint of heart, will take listeners by storm; blending musical styles from punk to reggae effortlessly and with the energy fans expect from (hed) p.e. Forever! delivers scorcher after scorcher and fans won’t be able to get enough.
“Live” and “Pay Me”, the first and second tracks on Forever!, will evoke pleasant memories of why (hed) p.e. are the bringers of the G-Punk, gangster rap and punk for those less familiar. After the reintroductions, listeners will have their brains slammed by the albums third track, “Closer”, which brings a sick mix of catchy riffs, dope lyrics, and a medley of genres from reggae to rock. Speaking of genre blending, the transition from raw, dirt punk in “Waste” to “Jahknow’s”, heavy groove, afro beat reggae is FLAWLESS.
Heavily afro-reggae influenced tracks like “Always” and the closer “Ganja” may seem unusual at first, such a high energy album to close out so laid back, but this isn’t unfamiliar territory for (hed) p.e., they’ve journeyed to the chill in the past with tracks such as “The Meadow” on their album Broke (2000). Not to mention listeners will appreciate finally being able to catch their breath after bouncing off the walls for the majority of the album.
Basically, Forever! plays out like an action movie, starting with the exposition (a reminder of who (hed) p.e.), then there is rising action (adding reggae to the rap/rock mix), the climax (transitioning from raw punk to groove afro beats), then falling action (slowing it down a bit), and finally the dénouement (the conclusion to the story) or in lame man’s terms before listeners know what hit them, they’re balls deep in some banging beats, killer riffs, and sleek, yet vicious lyrics and then the band slows it down a bit so listeners can exhale.
Despite the extreme shifts in musical styles from track to track, Forever! maintains infectious energy from start to finish. It isn’t until the conclusion of the album that listeners will wrap their minds around just how many genres of music they experienced and it will serve as yet another reminder of why (hed) p.e. are the preeminent purveyors of the G-Punk. Fans of (hed) p.e. or music lovers that are interested in discovering unique, quality fist pumping music are going to want to cop Forever! and see exactly how a band’s 10th album should sound.