Heavy Heavy Low Low
Everything’s Watched, Everyone’s Watching

Older metal fans might assume that nearly every band that hails from in and around the Bay Area would be at least slightly influenced by the early thrash of Metallica, Testament, Exodus, and the like. This is true, at least, for the near-teenaged wonders of San Jose’s Heavy Heavy Low Low. Why, in this world of incredibly apropos monikers, they chose this cartoonish name, we may never know—the debut from Salt Lake City’s Gaza, for example, could very well be the soundtrack for the hotly-disputed region from which that band took their name—but one thing is certain: Everything’s Watched, Everyone’s Watching is one of hardcore’s baddest-ass records, period. Some fans only expect that from New Jersey’s Ferret Music, but the fact that Ferret’s New Weatherman imprint was created for this band says volumes. Nick Storch, CEO of said label, reportedly heard HHLL’s demo and started his own label just to be able to work with the band. Preposterous, maybe, but this album slays over and over.

One would hope that HHLL make daily libations to Kiss It Goodbye and Coalesce, because opening tracks “This Is Really Trying the Patience I’ve Never Had” and “A, S, V, L, N” are perfect meldings of those two bands, along with some zany Dillinger Escape Plan-esque grind in their respective middles. Main throat Robbie Smith rips his vocal cords with both death-metal growls and unhinged KIG crooning in “Mall-Nutrition,” replete with white-hot thrash filtered through the Pantera-esque spasms of Killwhitneydead (which is reprised later in “There’s a Bat”). The noodly “Buddy, You’re Making No Sense” reeks of early Helmet spot-welded to the bloodshot-eyed kill-fury of Unsane. “I Forgot 2 and a Half Days” injects a King Crimson-like chord progression before imploding under Smith’s maniacal yowlings.

The chameleon-like “Party Girls,” however, goes through at least three different permutations: it starts with off-kilter screamo; midway through, it totally slows down to Botch-like speed like similar moments from We Are the Romans; by the end (after some silence and then sounds of a girl in a shower [hence the cover photo of a tub drain]), the band reappears with a humorously impromptu acoustic version (with tambourine) of “There’s a Bat.” “Are You Okay, Kiddo?” collects some Dillinger parts from the wake of its slo-mo grinding fury, as Smith apes KIG’s Tim Singer’s dramatic spoken-word screamo fits. Amid ransacked chords and destruction, Heavy Heavy Low Low are the choice of your neighborhood kickboxing moshers and karate/windmilling amateurs, as Everything’s Watched, Everyone’s Watching is one helluva record.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
April 23rd, 2007


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