Holy hell, this record smokes.
The HiFi Handgrenades bring together members of Detroit acts The Suicide Machines, The Fags and Grande Nationals on this five song, twelve-minute blast of Replacements/Dag Nasty/Descendants sounding stuff.
The recordings are clean enough to blast without fuzz, but there’s no mistaking this for pristine, modern-day pop-punk. “Smiling Judas,” “Heart of Steel” and “Sunset to Sunrise” serve as two-minute musical blowtorches, with lightning quick guitar leads scorching the crunching, quick-lick six-string rhythms. The rhythm section is very Ramones – sure and steady, though certainly not flashy in any way. “Carry On” and “Stupid” are a bit more ‘established’ by breaking the three-minute mark; “Carry On” keeps a breakneck pace despite the length, though “Stupid” serves as something almost resembling a pop song – one of the ‘angry-with-some-young-lady’ variety.
The true highlights are “Smiling Judas” and “Sunset to Sunrise,” which bookend the EP in a nasty way; “Judas” is a fantastic five-chord workout that mutes a bit on the verses (making the choruses more potent), while “Sunset” kicks along on one of those guitar riffs that’s bad-ass enough to start barroom brawls without provocation. Look no further than this EP for killer, intense no-frills rock with a major punk edge.