If there was ever a HUM Hall of Fame, Jayden Hebbard’s eclectic alter ego Joe Terror would be one of the first names inscribed. Having covered several LP’s, EP’s and singles from the Grafton-turned-Melbourne local over his last few years, we’re forever floored by the raucous technical prowess and diverse melodic moods each release contains. Hot on the heels of recent singles ‘Dea’ and ‘Creature of the Night’, we’re delighted to premiere the latest taste from his forthcoming sixth record, Queen of Smiles, Blues and the Devil.
‘Don’t Shoot the Messenger’s sardonic opening wail acts as the preliminary inhale before the explosive onslaught. Over thunderous drums and fiery wah-driven lead guitar, Terror bemoans the misguided accusations of those quick to point the finger. While his trademark vocal range feels familiar, it’s being heavily effected as though through a compressed loudspeaker is completely fresh and pairs with an undoubted metal ambience afforded by the thrashing guitars and breakneck pace.
Changing tack with little warning is another audible fingerprint present here. The dynamism given by letting the orchestration off the lead before rearing it back feels like a deranged amalgam of jazz and math rock – a nod to much of Terror’s back catalogue. Drum fills and lead licks separate the more calamitous collisions of instrumentation as momentum builds before a melodic descent down a debaucherous side street, befitting the alt-punk archetype himself.
All parts ominous, unstable and with an elevated urgency, ‘Don’t Shoot the Messenger’ has us fawning for Queen of Smiles, Blues and the Devil which drops on the 10th December with pre-orders for the hot wax vinyl copy available now. Don’t sleep on it!