"70's Hits from the Pit" (Suburban Noize; 2023)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Releasing an album of cover songs has always been a way for bands to pay tribute and to record music they like. If you are reading this review, you know and appreciate (hed)p.e. and their music. That being said, this happens to be one of the strangest cover releases I have ever heard. Before I get to the music itself, allow me to name the songs covered on this recording:

Pretty Vacant  (The Sex Pistols)
I Wanna Be Sedated (The Ramones)
I Fought The Law (written by Sonny Curtis, released in 1977, covered by The Clash and numerous other bands over the years)
Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
Uncontrollable Urge (Devo)
Margaritaville - (Jimmy Buffett)
A Horse With No Name (America)
Fire and Rain (James Taylor)
American Pie (Don McLean)
Breakdown (Tom Petty)
The Joker (Steve Miller Band)
Mama Told Me - Three Dog Night
50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (Paul Simon)

I grew up listening to all that music. Actually, I still do. The interpretation is a bit strained on some of these songs but, all in all, this us a great covers release and if you like (hed)p.e. like I do, you'll their versions even more. I have to say that when you hear (hed)p.e.'s versions of Steve Miller's "The Joker" and Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover," you will never look at (or listen to) those songs the same again.

For more information, check out http://www.hedpe.com.

"New World Orphans" (Suburban Noize; 2009)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I had the pleasure of seeing (hed)p.e. a few years ago and what I remember about that show was the power and stage presence of the band.  Well, with "New World Orphans," they sound like the have just gotten better with age. 

(hed)p.e. holds the banner as the kings of rap/rock recently held by Rage Against The Machine and Biohazard.  There is a lot going on both musically and, strangely enough, historically with sound bytes of past U.S. Presidents and Martin Luther King Jr.  The band has exceptional production value in all aspects of this release and the music, vocals and musical expression prove that (hed)p.e. is still and outstanding band. 

"New World Orphans" does get a bit preachy in areas but, all in all, it's a very good release.

For more information, check out http://www.hedpe.com.

"Insomnia" (Suburban Noize; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Bouncing back with an infusion of punk rock is the So Cal squad (hed)p.e., the rapcore clan who return with another eclectic dish of music on "Insomnia."

While their gangsta rap flava is still on full blare across this 14-track disc (definitely deflecting most rock fans right off the bat), when the band's viscerally stabbing punk rock shines through on cuts like "Habeus," "Tienanman Squared" and the beginning of "RTO," it's hard to deny the band's due. 

Always adventurous, they make a beeline back to the metal side of the fence with "Suffa," the album's strongest track, that seamlessly fuses dance hall reggae and rap-metal. (hed).p.e. also takes on the pop-punk genre with "Don't Let Me Down," a number better-suited for New Found Glory which cheekily passed through the security. 

And yes, while frontman Jahred still is a seething maniac whose questionable personal philosophies and firm political views are spewed forth here in the most vulgar way possible, his genuine and unique vocal approach to each track renders his lyrics secondary to your attention. 

(hed).p.e. has made strides some necessary strides to return back to form on "Insomnia," letting all of their identities rear their heads at their most unreserved to expose all of the band's scars. 

For more information, check out http://www.hedpe.com.

"Back 2 Base X" (Jive; 2006)

Reviewed by Snidermann

If you like rap metal as much as I do, you'll be thrilled with "Back 2 Base X." As the CD title suggests, the band has stripped down their sound and released yet another very cool recording. 

Although rap / metal may be a fading genre, you wouldn't think so based on this CD. (hed)pe has taken up the reigns of rap metal and has moved the art form forward. 

The subject matter is controversial, just the way it should be. A case in point is "Novus Ordos Clitorus." If I'm judging the lyrics properly, I'm pretty sure they are ragging on George W. Bush when they refer to the "American Royalty" and make statements like "I don't want to Guantanamo Bay."

The only drawback here is the same problem I had with "Broke." Sometimes the rap is more pronounced than the metal and, as far as I'm concerned, it should be the other way around. 

On the bright side, as with their previous material, this shit would sound great live. We caught (hed)p.e. at the Ventura Theater here awhile ago and it was quite a show ... full of power and in-your-face music ... just what you would expect from (hed)p.e. 

For more information, check out http://www.hedpe.com.

"Blackout" (Jive; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

For my money, "Blackout" marks a turning point for (hed)p.e. I've been familiar with the band for years but never got into their music. "Blackout" might change all that.

"Blackout" is a collection of lively rockers with more verve, charisma, style and atmosphere crammed into one record than too many bands find during their entire careers. I don't know if you can say that (hed)p.e. takes chances - I think they're just playing the rock'n'roll they feel like playing - but their unique blend of rock / metal / rap / reggae and other genres is all their own. I mean, it's not many bands that sound like Limp Bizkit on one track, Disturbed on another and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the next. That's variety. Yet, thankfully, (hed)p.e. never strays too far from their own signature sound.

Yeah, there are those out there who are going to hate it. (hed)p.e. is rock/rap more often than not and, at times, could even be called (gasp!) nu-metal. As you know, we think all of those sub-labels are bullshit, however, and judge a CD on how bruised our buttocks feel after listening to it. "Blackout" left them black and blue; this CD kicked our collective ass.

I'm going to have to go back and review (hed)p.e.'s previous releases and see if maybe I missed something on the first listen, or if this band has just improved that much since then. Either way, "Blackout" stands as one of the band's best releases.

(hed)p.e.: Jarred - vocals; Wes - guitar; Mawk - bass; B.C. - drums; DJ Product 1969 - tableist; Sonny - guitar.

For more information, check out http://www.hedpe.com

"Broke" (Jive; 2000)

Reviewed by Snidermann

(hed)p.e. are a rap/rock'n'roll outfit that really knows how to put the two together. In other words, this shit really works.  

The aggression level is set to high from beginning to end of this CD.  Sometimes the rap is a bit too ... rappy ... for my taste, but the overall effect is stunning. This CD has it all: fire, soul, grit and a shitload of attitude getting their point across. Serj Tankian from System Of A Down and Morgan Landers from Kittie lend their vocal talents to the CD as well.  

The only drawback here is the repeated use of the "N" word. I don't use it and I sure as hell don't want to hear it, no matter who's saying it. 

For more information, check out www.hedpe.com. 

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright 2023 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.