Heavenly Trip To Hell Lets Loose on Pumpkin Man EP
Were just about anyone to happen to wander by you while you were being inundated by Pumpkin Man—the latest effort from Long Beach’s Heavenly Trip To Hell—via headphones, there’s little doubt as to what thoughts would go through their mind. With nothing but the highs from the outrageous electric guitars, unrestrained drumming, and verbal clamors from the lead singer, they would likely think something were wrong with you, or perhaps wonder how anyone could stand such a frenzy.
Reserve, composure, and calmness simply don’t exist when rifling through this four-song Extended Player. Imagine, how much more so then, what it was like when the band was laying it down.
Although there’s plenty of vocals on this outing, you won’t hear any singing. The lead vocalist, Gerardo Christ, much prefers roaring his words, with all the feeling a man could seemingly summon. Moreover, as the name of the group implies, those words are far from the stuff that adorns the top 40 playlist (thank goodness).
“She says she has too many problem/another hit can always solve them” is espoused on “Vivid Dreams”—and that’s just when he’s getting warmed up. Before long he’s lambasting the fact that “We sold our souls to rock n roll/anarchy is all we know” while the electric guitars simply wail beyond all control, the pace throbbing, and your own mind reeling at the cumulative effects of it all.
On the titular cut Christ interchanges references to warlocks and witches with that of being “born of hate”. This is the type of metal many never experience, either via recordings and certainly not live. Credit Kurt Thompson with that heavy duty certified electric ‘way past Hendrix’ guitar work. However, on both of the aforementioned numbers he’s got a considerable amount of assistance from Vicky Vicious (see where I’m going with this) on the keys.
Her playing is exceptional on this album. She bestows the tunes with a sophisticated sense of musicianship to counterpoint their flaming ardor, if you will, creating an aura of spookiness to the arrangements and their carrying out that would likely be lacking without her presence.
Still, on cuts like “Systematic”—which is riddled with vocal samples from what sounds like a politician’s speech—all form, structure, and composition becomes meaningless. The group simply rages on its instruments with a sense of smoke and pollution that engulfs all else in its wake.