Hed PE (album)

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(həd)pe
Hed p.e. cover.jpg
Studio album by (həd)pe
Released August 12, 1997 (1997-08-12)
Genre
Length 58:49
Label Jive
Producer T-Ray
Hed PE chronology
Church of Realities
(1995)Church of Realities1995
(həd)pe
(1997)
Broke
(2000)Broke2000
Singles from (həd)pe
  1. "Serpent Boy"
    Released: 1998[2]

Hed PE (stylized as (həd)pe) is the self titled debut album of the American punk rock band Hed PE. Released on August 12, 1997 by Jive Records, the album marked a significant turning point in the fusion of rock and hip hop music for its densely textured hardcore punk driven sound, which the band described as "G-punk". This sound has been credited as shaping the emerging nu metal genre.

The album's production, motivated by drug use, saw the band incorporate elements of reggae, industrial music, funk, jazz and heavy metal.

In spite of the album's later impact, it was a financial disappointment for Jive, which was more known for hip hop, R&B and pop music and had never marketed a rock band before Hed PE.

Production[edit]

The album was produced by Todd Ray under the alias T-Ray, who had previously produced Snot's Get Some.[1]

An uncredited Sen Dog of Cypress Hill performed vocals on the hook of "IFO".[1]

Guitarist Wesstyle credits the use of amphetamines as impacting the band's hectic playing on this album. "The big difference between the first record and [subsequent records] was a speed driven tempo. It’s hard to say it, but I got some good out of it [doing amphetamines]. I would play guitar for eight hours straight and I learned other shit, that was good for me."[1]

While generally allowing the band creative control over the album's production, Jive Records requested that the song "Sinto", recorded during the sessions, be removed from the album for its anti-Christian lyrical content.[1]

Composition[edit]

Music[edit]

The music of Hed PE was noted for its raw sound, with DJ Product©1969 describing it as the "purest" example of the band's sound out of their entire catalog,[3] and Beatdust describing the band's sound as "a variety of musical genres in a single song"; summarizing the album's style, Beatdust wrote, "with the Self Titled debut the band created a Frankenstein monster of sound, taking the best parts of other styles and making it there [sic] own."[1]

The songs "Ground", "Firsty", "Darky", "Schpamb" and "Hill" were re-recorded from the band's debut EP, Church of Realities,[1][4] the song "P.O.S." appeared on a demo tape entitled Chaos in Clear Detail .[1]

The album's musical style largely draws from hardcore punk,[1] it has been described by Allmusic as melodic punk and hip hop,[5] while the band coined the neologism "G-punk" to describe its sound.[1] Beatdust vonsiders DJ Product©1969 to be the first DJ to fully incorporate turntablism into rock music,[1] and the band's sound as having a major impact on the nu metal genre, with Beatdust naming Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park as bands whose sound may have been shaped by Hed PE.[1]

In addition to the strong hip hop influences, Hed PE also incorporated elements of metal, funk, reggae, jazz and industrial music.[1][5] DJ Product ©1969 credits the industrial hip hop band Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy as influencing his turntablism on this album, and his overall style.[3]

Vocalist Jared Gomes, credited under the alias "M.C.U.D." (MC Underdog) as well as in publishing credits as Jared Shaine, performs with an alternating style between rapping and reggae singing.[1]

Sampling[edit]

The song "Darky" samples the Dead Kennedys' guitar riff from the ending of "When Ya Get Drafted", a song from the album Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables.[1] "Ken 2012" samples Brand Nubian's "Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down".[1]

Lyricism[edit]

Beatdust describes the lyrics of M.C.U.D. as being abstract stream of consciousness based rap flows that could be perceived by listeners as being unfocused,[1] a criticism that was assigned to the band's music by Allmusic.[5]

"Ground", according to Beatdust, criticizes consumer culture and organized religion; "Serpent Boy" is described by the same publication as "a whimsical tale about a person who stole a quantity of marijuana from lead singer Jared", while "IFO" focuses on alien conspiracy theories.[1]

Cover artwork[edit]

The artwork was hand painted by the band's turntablist, Doug Boyce alias DJ Product©1969, who had previously drawn artwork for Sublime[1] as well as Hed PE's 1995 self-released debut extended play, Church of Realities.[3] According to Boyce, he first presented the band with a different painting, which was rejected because the band felt it wasn't strong enough to be a front cover, although it would be used as the back cover and the front of the Japanese release of the album.[3]

The final painting, entitled "Ball of Chaos", was produced on 24X24″ cardboard, using pencil, acrylic and spaypaint, and Boyce turned in the painting "as the paint was still drying" in order to meet Jive's deadline requirements for cover art.[3]

Release, promotion and legacy[edit]

The album was released on August 12, 1997 by Jive.[5] According to Boyce, the band's response to the album's packaging was mixed, the album booklet, Boyce said, contained numerous misspellings and typos by the label's art department.[3]

Boyce told Beatdust, "The only thing was the band did not get to preview or examine the album before packaging. We did not get any advance copies, we had to purchase them ourselves on release day."[3]

The song "Serpent Boy" was released as a single in 1998 to promote the album,[2] it also appeared in the horror film Strangeland, written by and starring Dee Snider.[1] A music video for the song "Ground" was also released.[6]

In 2006, the songs "Ken 2012", "Serpent Boy", "Darky", "Ground", "Firsty" and "T.O.S. (Tired of Sleep)" from the 1997 debut album appeared on the Jive Records compilation The Best of Hed Planet Earth.[7] In 2010, Suburban Noize Records released the compilation Major Pain 2 Indee Freedom: The Best of Hed P.E., which featured from the 1997 debut the song "Firsty".[8]

Reception[edit]

Commercial sales[edit]

The album was a financial disappointment, selling over 100,000 copies.[1][9] Due to the label's contractual terms and the disappointing sales of the album, the band found themselves unable to repay the cash advances given to them by Jive through sales of their subsequent albums Broke and Blackout,[4] with Gomes recalling, "We’ve literally slaved ourselves out to our record company", saying the band's time spent on the label did little to help the band financially, though it increased its fanbase.[1]

Beatdust blames recording label Jive Records for the album's commercial performance, noting that Jive did not have the necessary experience to market Hed PE, due to Jive's background in hip hop music, pop music and R&B, as the label had never promoted a heavy rock band.[1]

Gomes is quoted as saying "We had these romantic visions of the music industry, and we thought it would be cool to be a punk band on a rap label. So we fulfilled that dream, but it was also probably the worst thing that could have happened. [...] We've had offers from Sony and others that we can't take because we owe Jive so much money."[4]

Critical reviews[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[5]
Beatdust (favorable)[1]

In his review of the album, Allmusic's Steve Huey wrote that "There are some slow and/or unfocused moments [...] but overall, its aggression will probably play well with late-'90s metal and punk fans."[5]

In a retrospective review, Beatdust called Hed PE "flawless" and described the album as being "Like a timeless novel; [the album] is a diverse piece of art which keeps its dynamic value throughout our generation and the next."[1]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "P.O.S." Geer/Shaine 3:13
2. "Ground" Geer/Shaine 2:32
3. "Serpent Boy" Geer/Shaine 5:50
4. "Firsty" Geer/Shaine 2:32
5. "Tired of Sleep (T.O.S.)" Geer/Shaine 3:51
6. "Darky" Geer/Shaine/Benekos 5:22
7. "Schpamb" Geer/Shaine 3:05
8. "Ken 2012" Geer/Shaine/Vaught/Benekos/Boyce/Young 5:08
9. "Circus" Geer/Shaine 2:06
10. "33" Geer/Shaine/Vaught 4:06
11. "Hill" Geer/Shaine/Vaught/Young 4:04
12. "IFO" Geer/Shaine/Vaught/Benekos/Boyce/Young 4:56
13. "Bitches" Geer/Shaine 11:57

Personnel[edit]

  • Jared "M.C.U.D" Gomes — lead vocals
  • Wesley "Wesstyle" Geer — guitars
  • Chad "Chizad" Benekos — guitars, vocals
  • Mark "Mawk" Young" — bass
  • B.C. Vaught — drums and percussion
  • Doug "DJ Product ©1969" Boyce — turntables

References[edit]