Hard to believe that mallcore has been plaguing the airwaves for so long. Case in point: Las Vegas’ Hemlock has been kicking around the underground for 15 (!) years and released 5, count ‘em, 5 albums. Jeebus. You’d think after all that time the band would take the hint that they’re never going to rise above the 4th tier (though I was going to say 2nd tier didn’t you?). Seriously, after all this time, I can’t imagine there is a lot of money left to be made in mallcore. Let’s face it, taking Pantera tough-guy image and lyrics and combining it with breakdowns and ROOTS-ified Korn-isms isn’t exactly groundbreaking anymore.
To be fair, Hemlock is a damn sight heavier than most mallcore, and thankfully they avoid any and all rapping. Still, there is no doubt that NO TIME FOR SORROW is a decidedly lacklustre effort. I think I’ve heard the title track’s riff in about 4,588 different songs over the years, and it stopped being cool after the 3rd time. The rest of the album consists of predictable chugga-chugga riffs that never really work up a sweat. Chad Smith’s typical tough-guy vocals certainly don’t help ease the monotony either. His growls, screams, and grunts are equally unimpressive and have been heard a million times before.
I guess I should cut Hemlock a bit of a break – after all, they’ve been around since 1993, so they definitely got in on the ground floor when it comes to mallcore. They have certainly earned their stripes and proven their longevity. Too bad they chose a style that sucks. Here’s to another 15 years of anonymity!
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