"HEZ from Panamá return with their newest offering of ultra-dark HC-Punk. Tormented vocals echo over distorted bass and psyched-out guitars, bouncing between grooving moshy parts and stomping 1-2 1-2 beats. HEZ continue to prove themselves to be one of the best contemporary hc-punk bands on a world scale. Coming from a local history of punk that goes back to the mid-late 80s, HEZ builds upon that criminally overlooked scene and creates something that sets an example for the world to take note; punk, and incredible punk at that, happens all over the world, and it’s time to look past the hype machines of the Western First World countries and see that the rest of the world is creating music just as ferocious, original and maybe even more relevant. Excellent as always artwork by Yecatl Peña" - World Gone Mad
Our take: After an excellent 12” a few years ago here’s a new 7” from Panama’s Hez. As the label’s description notes, there’s a tendency to view hardcore and punk from places whose scenes we aren’t familiar with as somehow inferior, but the wealth of great hardcore from places like Central America and Southeast Asia over the past few years explodes that assumption. Hez is a great example. With strong production values (clear but nowhere near slick) and a style that feels very “on trend” for those of us who follow the world of raw yet progressive hardcore, Hez could be from Barcelona or Los Angeles or Singapore just as easily as Panama. Where Hez excels is in their ability to alternate between simple and brutal and more dissonant, progressive, and surprising. There are plenty of pit-clearing, Blazing Eye-esque pogo parts, but they’re balanced out with denser, more adventurous parts that that incorporate elements of noise and psychedelia. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you can’t go wrong with this one.