Destructive, defiant, devious, and D-beat – Philadelphia’s Hallucination take a smashing first step with their self-titled EP consisting of five songs (including the 37 second intro track) that stake their claim in the mania of gutter punk. Sticking to the raw cohesion of destructive impulses with a slightly metallic underflow, it calls back to the days when Discharge reigned supreme and laid out a vast musical platitude on which many bands still stand.
After the introduction of analog recordings of sounds from the proverbial battlefield in the aptly titled “…”, the following self-titled track comes crashing down with rambunctious energy put forth by the guitars and the mirrored speed—a sign of things to come with the rest of the EP. The two following tracks keep the cut-and-dry behavior of D-beat’s nature, each timing in at just under minute and a half, but aren’t without their distinguished peaks. Despite the muddied vocals in “Combat Conditions” it allows the straightforward chanting of “They! Started! Started the war!” to take over the limelight, be it ever so brief, whereas the entirety of “Progress?” is the repetitious chanting of “Progress! Progress! This is progress?”
Hallucination saved the longest for last, as “Ride Off in the Sun” clocks in at over double the length of its predecessors, though I think the elongated runtime works against its strength. The lo-fi nature being condensed in length due to the abridged musical structure doesn’t require any expanded attention. With “Ride Off in the Sun” it retains its former basic contents but in doing so, doesn’t add anything new to warrant its length, ergo struggling to keep my attention.
While the closing track does pale in comparison to the first three, I wouldn’t deviate anyone from listening to this EP and relishing in its decrepit behavior. And while it exists only on a digital streaming platform at the moment, their cassette tape, once released, will include a cover of Poison Idea’s “It’s An Action”. I urge any D-beat diehards to give some of your support to Hallucination, as they are the real deal.