Hello Bastards on Jade Tree Records is 25. Lifetime’s second full length, right before they anointed themselves “Jersey’s Best Dancers” with the next album is everything you want from a melodic hardcore record.
Lodged firmly between their first full length, Background, and critic’s favorite, their third album, Jersey’s Best Dancers, Hello Bastards is full bodied in sound like Jersey’s Best Dancers while still kicking around ideas and finding their groove from Background. It’s a satisfying, sometimes raw, record that holds true to the roots of the band, with lots of insight into their maturity and eventual evolved and polished sound on Jerseys Best.
It’s got great vocals from Ari Katz, his near breaking voice lets you know he means the heart he screams. Dan Yemin kills on the breakdowns. Check out “I Like You OK,” it’s perfectly danceable. From the opening bass of “Daneurysm” this record rips your face off with its pace. It go-go-goes straight into “Rodeo Clown,” then throttles up on “Anchor.” Such a satisfying ride, faster and faster turning corkscrews and then slowing for “I’m Not Calling You.” Pick up the recording with “Bobby Truck Tricks,” it’s amazing Katz never loses his breath with the speed he delivers his message.
The middle of this record is strong. “It’s Not Funny Anymore” with its strong downstrokes on bass and twinkling guitar. “Irony Is For Suckers,” just timeless and quintessential Lifetime jam. Hello Bastards ends poetically on the song “Ostracized” about the sunset on the south side.
Hello Bastards, a perfectly packaged record, is wrapped in John Yates’ Stealworks art, it holds up and looks good on its birthday. It bears revisiting at 25.