The hardcore/punk supergroup Hesitation Wounds are back with 14 minutes of fury on their second album, Chicanery. The albums title can be defined as “the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose”, and this should give you an idea of the lyrical content spewing from a pissed off Jeremy Bolm. Although political themes are nothing new for Hesitation Wounds, as previous record Awake For Everything was full of them, there’s a deeper seeded anger that can be heard in Bolm’s signature screams.

As mentioned earlier, the record is a whirlwind listen at only 14 minutes but you take quite the journey in that time. Album opener “Viewing (Pt. 2)” is an instrumental prelude to the madness that is about to ravage your ears when ”Paragons of Virtue” hits. Drummer Thomas Cantwell is a new addition the band’s ranks, replacing Jay Weinberg of Slipknot fame. Cantwell can be heard in Florida hardcore acts Gouge Away and Axis, and is a fantastic replacement that alternates from double kick beats to blasts and d-beat grooves with ease.

”Charlatan Fuck” is a furious highlight of the record that’s all about our current President, and its undoubtedly Bolm at his most pissed. Neeraj Kane’s guitar playing isn’t overly technical, mainly sticking to pounding power chords and walls of feedback while Stephan LaCour’s bass follows suit. ”Trending” jumps out of the gate with an uptempo blast beat and Bolm screaming in complete unison with every snare hit before breaking down into a two step inducing end climax. ”At Our Best When We’re Asleep” trudges along before stopping at a wall of feedback, with Bolm barking:

I can’t relate to anything
I can’t relate to you
I can’t relate what’s tolerable
So I’ll see myself on through

A majority of the record hits at breakneck pace, before finally slowing down for album closer, “Ends (Pt. 3)”. We’re reintroduced to the opening riff of “Views” (Pt. 2)” to bring the record to a climactic finish without sacrificing the aggressive nature of Chicanery. What feels like a never-ending mountain, the finale brings the listener on a developing journey destined for a slow breakdown worthy of a call to AAA. However, the song falls off a cliff to an abrupt ending, with Bolm screeching:

“What holds me back, what keeps me here, the uncertainty to disappear”.

Overall, this is a strong hardcore record that will elicit repeat listens. Here’s to hoping these guys do some east coast shows, so I can stop circle pitting in my living room. Chicanery is out this Friday, August 30th via Deathwish Inc.

Listen to “Paragons Of Virtue” below: