By Crom, VHS have done it again. The latest slab of oozing death-thrash punky fun from Thunder Bay’s premier purveyors of horror slop finds the trio of bandleader Mike Hochins, bassist Curt Mills, and drummer Andy Middaugh turning their attention from 80s horror flicks to… 80s barbarian flicks! Yes, they’ve traded in their inspiration from past efforts dealing with Italian giallo, vampires, briny oceans, and deep space to instead focus on sword-swinging epics and dragon-fire. Their first single, “Cleave ‘Em and Leave ‘Em,” featuring guest vocals from Aaren Pantke of Molder, shows just how spry VHS is these days. Middaugh lays down a rollicking, clangy beat that charges ahead using Mills’s bassline as momentum, with Hochins and Pantke spitting gargle-throated battle cries overtop a speed-metal riff that only slows for a chugging beatdown. It’s a quick, comically violent song that bends the riddle of steel in new ways. Hochins himself quips the old adage that fans always prefer the early stuff, but it’s always a joke. VHS demonstrate that they aren’t just throwing out riffs, but on a quest for an ever-evolving increase in quality, both in terms of writing and recording. What’s best in life, indeed.
A product of NWO
By Justin Allec