“In Case You Missed It” Series – Episode 2
THE HONG KONG SLEEPOVER
Bolshevik Firecrackers – CD // DD
Self Released – December 7th 2013
Album Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr
Formed – 2007
From – Macomb, ILLINOIS USA
Current Lineup – Ted Renner – Lead Vox // Pete Thompson – Guitar & Vox // Mike Kump – Drums & Vox // Waylon Brown – Bass Guitar
Previous Releases – “Mustard” (2009) // “The Swedish Teaser” EP (2011) // “Bolshevik Firecrackers” (2013) // “Hey Santa” Single (2015)
These four guys from the Midwest have been slowly releasing tracks since shortly after they came together and state that, quote “If you put the over-produced bands of today and their mindless drones into a room and lit it on fire, the members of THE HONG KONG SLEEPOVER would be the ones standing outside drinking Miller High Life, shooting off automatic weapons and roastin’ marshmallows over those open flames. The more distorted and deranged you think we are, the closer you are to what drives us”, enquote. Quite the descriptor and citing MOTORHEAD, ANTHRAX and old school METALLICA as influences for what they do. Combine all elements and the desired result for their live sets is to deliver that stripped-down, balls out, tour de force, honest approach to their craft and this, their latest release, “Bolshevik Firecrackers” is the result of that passion and drive.
Eleven songs and 44 minutes of raw, from-the-gut hard rock/metal is what lies in wait, from the loping bass intro of ‘Taste The Chain’ to the staggered drum intro to ‘Die Another Day.’ We are given all the trappings, from that ultra heavy bass line, the time-shifts from Hell, tempos and ultra-distorted guitars supporting a vocal style that tips its hat heavy to Lemmy in phrasing, tone and delivery, keeping that pure party-metal vibe running throughout. Tracks like ‘Hangman’, ‘Big John’, ‘The Ballad Of Malcom Reynolds’ and ‘Bleed To Win’ are faster romps that deliver with lyrics dripping with attitude and sneer, telling each tale with a fist gripped tight on your pulse and pulling for more.
‘356’ is even quicker with an almost DIMEBAG tone to the melody, while ‘Draw The Line’ is a good mid-tempo race across the flesh. ‘Boomstick’ is a story about the 1992 movie and Cult Classic Army of Darkness and the main character Ash Williams. The track is a bit slower than the rest included here, but is filled with power-chords galore and a tempo that is like a freight train in how unrelenting it is for the duration, and ‘Not Enough Whiskey’ could very well have been lifted out of some old THIN LIZZY vault somewhere as the structure of the intro sounds very Irish in tone and progression, and is the quintessential drinking song. It makes you want to raise a shot glass along with the boys, loudly singing along “Stagger, stagger, crawl, stagger, crawl, stagger drink… crawl, crawl, stagger, stagger, crawl, stagger drink!!”
The real standout track on this one for ME, is ‘In Nine Seconds’ for several reasons. The guitar line is unpretentious and gritty as fuck. The tempo is nice and even, the bass line flows perfectly alongside, keeping things nice and plush in a heaviness that makes your head move involuntarily while the vocal line sounds NOTHING like the other 10 songs, so much so, I had to check for a guest vocalist in the credits. This song in particular shows that The Hong Kong Sleepover has more tricks up their collective sleeves than you might have guessed and in my opinion, shows a direction and possibility for any future releases that would serve them quite well. Especially in a world saturated with those very cookie-cutter bands they talk about in their own description and shows that they do indeed have their OWN voice to add to the rock annals. In Case You Missed It…Get this one IMMEDIATELY, share it out and about and keep it LOUD!!