HWDU – Love Crime – EP Review

HWDU aren’t really a band I’ve seen around lots, however all the members are in, or have been in, other bands I’ve seen loads of times over the years, they describe themselves as “an independent 4 piece alternative rock band from Swansea, South Wales playing hard hitting in your face rock, with some stoner grooves and punk sensibilities” and on first impressions that’s a pretty accurate description I’d say.

The opening song of this 6 track EP is the recently released single “Space Punk” which as a title is also a reasonably accurate description of what the tune sounds like too. Its got stoner rock guitar sounds straight out of the desert scene, but has plenty of driving punk energy, there’s two sets of vocals here and they contrast each other nicely there’s nice punchy energy to the first set of vocals that give the tune a sense of urgency and help ramp up the punk energy while the second set is that unmistakable stoner rock roar of Matt Williams (Suns of Thunder / sigiriya / loads of other bands) letting rip its a nice contrast between the two and both work really well over the driven guitars, the rhythm section do a great job of locking down the groove with a really nice feel and still driving the song forwards, its a cracking opener this tune, it sounds like it should be cranked loud on my van stereo while driving at speed on a hot summers day – I’m not quite sure where I’d be heading but its somewhere good.

“Shit TV” is an interesting name for a song, that’s what’s up next though, and these boys are still having a good time, everything’s straight in, all in and going at it hard. The song barges in at a nice foot stomping tempo and drops in to a brief call and response style section between the vocals and guitar drives forward at even more pace, its a nice way of working the dynamics without dropping the energy levels at all, good work boys, like what your doing here. Its hard rocking, pounding and driving forward with lots of vocals layered up with lots of back and forth, I can imagine this going down a treat live, it sounds like a big riffy party tune.

Track 3 is “Jessie” and its a bit of a slower groove and feel than the first two tracks, but that’s no bad thing, its a nice change of pace, its not exactly a ballad by any means, its still got that energy to it and those powerful guitars but with a bit more of a catchy vocal in the chorus being the main hook. I’m getting weezer vibes off this tune, they’ve layered those vocals up again and even more so as the song progresses and it gives a nice sing-a-long feel, its a bit more of an anthemic feel to this one, still fun still good time vibes but with a big cat catchy vocal hook tying it all together.

The title track “Love Crime” is up next and its meatier and a little bit darker in tone, those guitars sound fat as f*ck on the intro, and then it drops in to a nice staccato grove with some nice work with nice drum groove and some well placed cheeky off beat percussion hits. There’s some nice intersecting lead guitar parts that give bit of a QOTSA feel, there’s a lot of little subtle things going on in the spaces in this verse and the song builds up really nicely to a big driving chorus, I’m liking this tune a lot, it’s longest one on the EP by nearly 2 minutes but its got some nice twists and turns and layer upon layer of vocals in parts. The dynamic contrasts between the driving heavy chorus and intro, and the weirdly chaotic yet sparse feel on the verses is really nice, and its still all good fun party music.

I don’t know whether the next track “song for June” is about the month or a person called June, it doesn’t really matter either way because either way its a great tune, slightly more lo-fi sounding guitars and a nice pounding drum groove drive the song forward in the verses, with some nicely placed hand claps helping the groove along before it kicks in to a simple but lush and full sounding chorus layered with some dreamy sounding vocals, this tunes making me think or something in between QOTSA, masters of reality and basically anything Alain Johannes might have had a hand in, which as anyone who knows anything about stoner / desert rock can only be a good thing.

We’re rounding out this EP with a tune called “Counter Esperanto” and its another good one, the energy levels are still way up as the drums and noisy guitars pound their way in to your head to kick things off, its another one for driving along a fast road in the sunshine and the party vibe is still in full effect, layering up those vocals again is a tried and tested trick throughout this whole EP and it bloody works so why the hell not, the more of this the better, the guitars sound huge, the drums sound huge, as with the rest of the EP the production is perfect for these songs, I don’t know where or who recorded them but they’ve done a bloody good job.

If high energy stoner rock you can party to is your thing then this is the band for you, its got layers of fat guitars, big grooves, plenty of energy and it very much sounds like these boys are having a good time. Crank the volume up and go check out HWDU for a good time

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