January 7, 2014 Hed PE – The Best of (həd) p.e. (Album review)
The Best of (həd) p.e. released in 2013 via Suburban Noize Records marks the third greatest hits compilation from Huntington Beach’s self-labeled “G-Punk” renegades. Not to be confused with 2006’s The Best of (hed) Planet Earth released via Jive records. Nor is it to be assumed the same as 2010’s Major Pain 2 Indee Freedom: The Best of Hed P.E. which was a collection released by the band’s current home Suburban Noize Records and featured some of the same songs on the Jive release in addition to their more recent material. This third collection of Hed PE’s is exclusive to the Surburan Noize back catalog of the band, featuring only their major hits and fan favorites upon signing to the label in 2006.
The album starts off with the more recent “Truth Rising”, the title track off of their 2010 release. Although it runs under two minutes, the song is a punishing mix of nu-metal, punk, and rap all in one. Jared Gomes’ throat-shredding screams kick in almost instantly after a little pre-recorded introduction. The album moves right along to the next track “Renegade”, which is perhaps their most well-known release under Suburban Noize. An ode to the underground and their devoted followers which include everyone from punk rockers, metal-heads, and hip hop fans; the song is an instant classic needing no introduction or description. If you are a (hed) fan, then you already know this song. Even if you are not a fan, chances are you heard this song many times back in the day. The first half of the album really does not let up with hits like the head-bangers “No Rest for the Wicked”, “Ordo (Ab Chao)”, and “Get Ready”. These tracks really demonstrate the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach that (həd) p.e. has become known for in the last decade. There are whispers of everything from jazz in the bridge of “No Rest for the Wicked”, to reggae in “Suffa” and “Ordo (Ab Chao)”, and of course punk and rap metal.
It isn’t until “Comeova2nite” where things wind down a bit, which is as close to a love song as one gets from (hed) P.E. The second half of the album eases up a smidge with the punishing riffs and rhythm section and features some more Bob Marley-esque melodies on “Sophia”, as well as some underground rap on “Game Over” where Gomes spits multiple bars bashing haters, “emo” kids, and religion all at once. The band has never been one to hold back or sugar coat its views on politics, religion, and other genres; so of course their music is not for everyone. The album closes with the appropriately titled “It’s All Over” which features a very strong chorus from Gomes with soaring melodies.
As to why the band released a third greatest hits album without the release of new material since 2010’s Truth Rising is unclear. There is not a single track that has not been previously released, or re-released on other greatest hits. More importantly, there are no additional bonus tracks or unreleased material to distinguish it from other albums. Regardless, unless you are a diehard Hed PE fan, or maybe a frequent one looking to pick up all the best tracks in one neat little package, you have all these tracks already. Hed PE is a band that is constantly evolving and changing its sound with each release, as evident throughout this compilation. Here’s hoping to some new tunes from one of the greatest bands in the underground scene in the near future. CrypticRock gives this album 3 out of 5 stars.
Written by Mr. G.