Album Review: (Hed) Oui Oui!
(Hed) P.E. Album Review – Stampede
Band Name – (Hed) P.E.
Based In – Huntington Beach, CA
Project Name – Stampede
# of Songs – 10
Current Members –
M.C.U.D (Jared Gomez) – Vocals
Major Trauma (Jeremiah Stratton) – Drums, Backing Vocals
Kid Bass (Kurt Blankenship) – Bass
D.J. Blackard – Guitar
Label – Pavement Entertainment
Release Date – June 21, 2019
Genre – Rock, Punk, Hip Hop, Reggae
Available On – iTunes, Spotify, Amazon
Into the Pit Overall Ranking – 4.25/5.0
From the moment I started listening to this album, I didn’t know what the hell was going on – and I mean that in a good way! Of course, (Hed) is known for having an diversely original sound – but this album was a straight up rollercoaster of different musical genres, tempos, and beats. The minute I’d get used to the hip hop there’d be a twist and then a turn and suddenly I’m listening to punk rock then … arms up in the air and smile for the camera! … now I’m listening to reggae. By the time I’m done listening to the entire album my hair is a disaster, I have a goofy ass grin on my face, and I can’t tell if I’m queasy or hungry.
Writing – 4.5/5.0
Aside from being a little too repetitive at times, the entire album is lyrically entertaining. Crisp, clear vocals and CanIRock is a nod to a handful of gods in rock n’ roll history that I really appreciate. The more you listen to CanIRock, the more rock references you pick up on.
I’m still unsure how a band can transition so precisely from one genre to another without sounding piece-y and disorganized. It’s a feat all other mixed-genre bands should strive to achieve, using (Hed) P.E. as their influence.
Production/Mixing/Mastering – 4.0/5.0
Several of the songs have an intro and outro, which normally I might ignore or skip over. However, (Hed) uses old school PSA announcements that are actually pretty cool to listen to. I know a ton of bands use the creepy PSA filler technique, so maybe it’s kind of overdone …? But I still like it so no complaints from me!
The one thing I’m not a fan of in Stampede is the overuse of Auto-Tune. I recognize and appreciate that it’s for effect and not to cover up ear screeching vocals like other musicians, but still … gross. My ears don’t like it.
True to the eclectic feel of the entire album, there’s echoes and fades and sports announcers and whale songs and monkey mating calls … okay I’m getting carried away … the last two listed is just me fucking with you, obvi. BUT there IS some swanky French music at the end of Rise and DieAnotherDay – It made me want to smoke cigarettes with a mime in some back ally with the Eiffel Tower grandly lit up behind me … Ooh ooh, oui oui!
Final Thoughts –
The hip hop rap fusion is not something I would just put on because I was in the mood for it. That being said, if I were in the car with someone and they put on this particular album, I would not be bummed. My music style is just personal preference, but that doesn’t mean this album wasn’t put together well. In fact, there are at least two songs that I would recommend to anyone who has a similar taste as me: CanIRock and WhyNotMe.
The twists and turns Stampede was a wild ride and a total winner for me, particularly the songs at the beginning of the album. All in all, it’s a pretty wicked album that is definitely worth checking out. They’ve been at it over 20 years, so they must be doing something right with this all-encompassing sound they’ve created.