This release has thrown me slightly due to it possibly being the best recordings I’ve ever heard from H.D.Q. Bearing in mind that the band is not short of songs for these to be compared to that is quite some achievement. H.D.Q. has never really moved away from the U.S.-influenced melodic punk rock sound it had back in 1987 and continues down that route to this day. What makes this stand out is that everything comes together so well, something that I guess all musicians must hope for when entering a studio. This has two extremely well written songs that have the ability to soar majestically when in full flight, both benefiting from a production that gives them more life than that heard on last year’s album Lost in Translation. Of course with Dave Golledge’s raspy, impassioned vocals and Dickie Hammond’s guitar work—which has oft been copied—H.D.Q. already has an advantage over many bands in terms of its starting point. To me, “Dismantled” is the highlight of the pair with its slightly punchier quality and faster pace that expertly propels the song along from start to finish. Apparently the band is working on a new album due to see the light of day in 2015, so bring it on!
–Rich Cocksedge (Boss Tuneage, bosstuneage.com)