Another “American Tragedy”: Hollywood Undead Psalms EP Review

By: Clay Drummond

Few bands have faced as much adversity as Hollywood Undead (HU). The California-based rap rock group hit the ground running back in 2008 when they dropped their debut album, Swan Songs. It was certified platinum back in 2013, but HU had already revamped their entire direction. Lead singer Aron “Deuce” Erlichman departed the group in 2009, leaving the position to fall in the hands of Daniel “Danny” Murillo. Following a vast amount of controversy, Danny took over and has since put the group in a position to thrive.
Let’s face it, here’s what we get with HU: album release, we HATE the way it sounds, we LOVE the way it sounds, REPEAT. I remember when American Tragedy dropped back in 2011. I thought “Wow, never thought they would out do Swan Songs.” In all honesty, they didn’t. A few tracks, though, showed promise that this band could live up to its early potential.
Daniel “Danny” Murillo took over the frontman position for HU back in 2009

HU released their new EP, Psalms, on November 2, 2018. The release comes as a follow-up to the 2017 album, Five. Here we are. Once again, it took time for a new HU sound to grow on me. If there’s one thing I have learned in this journey, it’s that the HU faithful (Undead Army, etc.) either love it or they hate it. There is simply no in between. From a music perspective, this band is doing everything the right way. The music is coming consistently, it’s catchy, and it’s gaining PLENTY of airplay. If HU wanted growth, they are getting it (more and more with each album).
The breakdown:
Psalms consists of five tracks.
1. “Bloody Nose”
2. “Live Fast Die Young”
3. “Something to Believe”
4. “Another Level”
5. “Gotta Let Go”

In my opinion, “Bloody Nose” is the best song on this EP. At first, it kind of threw me for a corny pump up song or something I should be listening to between rounds at a boxing match (I guess?). The more I listened, the more it drew me in. To most, it won’t be the catchiest song of the five. However, I think those who have followed HU over the years will be pleased with this song both lyrically and musically.
“Live Fast Die Young” and “Something to Believe” are both catchy tracks. I know that may sound repetitive, but HU has always found a way to turn an average song (to average ears) into a song you can’t beat out of your head.
“Another Level” is on another level. Seriously, I’m not sure what the heck happened, but this ain’t it chief. This song makes my head bob though, so I’ll keep you posted if it grows on me (don’t count on it).
“Gotta Let Go” may be the most popular HU song to date. I really like this one because it’s different. It doesn’t sound like HU at all, and in a much better way than “Another Level”. I can appreciate creativity and they got it right here. From the first time I listened to it, I knew it had stadium jam/mainstream rock radio all over it. It had MILLIONS of views on YouTube in just a few days. This band is big, but they just got bigger.

Magazine Rating: 8.5/10

Be sure to check out the upcoming HU tour with Cypress Hill!

You can stream Psalms here!

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