I used to jam to Milemarker quite a bit back in the day, so it’s good to see Dave Laney writing new tunes, though he’s been working on his Auxes project for some time. I dig the band’s newest single; it’s got a blend of post-rock surrounded by some more melodic guitar playing. Lacey’s vocals still have a slightly harsh sound, but it’s not an off-putting one, just rather a touch that gives an extra punch to the band. Their latest album Boys in My Head is getting a release stateside via Lovitt Records, so whether you’ve heard it or not, it’s a jam for you to enjoy this afternoon.
Hellbender, for this writer, has always been more connected to personal memories than the love of the actual music. Listening to the band I am reminded of inside jokes, handmade t-shirts, missed opportunities. Even now, sitting at my desk listening to Hellbender, I am transported back to community college (Jealous?), skipping class, watching friends smoke, and thinking about my new girlfriend (now my wife of seven years!). Of the bands three albums and numerous EPs I only really love one release, 1997’s Con Limon.
On Con Limon you can see the three members of Hellbender already pulling away towards their personal tastes: bassist Al Burian would later co-found Milemarker and Challenger/Auxes as well as continue publishing his long running zine Burn Collector; drummer Harrison Hayes would join jangly rockers Les Savy Fav, and guitarist Wells Tower would practically leave music all together and focus on writing. But the songs on Con Limon use each of the members separate personalities and playing styles to produce a fun and at times heart-wrenching punk record. I highly recommend checking it out, if you can find it.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/01-fake-i.d..mp3]
Download: Hellbender – Fake I.D. [MP3]