Legendary SoCal artists (HED) P.E. have released their new studio album Class of 2020 in stores and across digital music platforms today. The album was released via legendary Californian independent label Suburban Noize Records and debuts on the same weekend that the band celebrates the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough album, Broke.
“I had the title ‘Class of 2020’ as a working title for some time now,” says (HED) P.E. frontman Jared Gomes. “We had made hoodies with the ‘Class of 2020’ on them, but it was originally intended to be a statement about the band being here 20 years later. A whole new Class of (HED) P.E., so to speak. Once the pandemic broke out, this title took on a new profound meaning. The Class of 2020 never really graduated. The Class of 2020 will go down in history for several different reasons.”
He continues, “I just tried to write some heartfelt songs and tap into some crucial, punk rock energy. I’m not into that slick, overproduced metal sound right now. I listened to bands like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, The Clash, Social Distortion, the classic punk and hardcore bands. Those bands went in recorded raw and tried to capture the energy of the music. This record demanded something raw and something that wasn’t completely processed.”
In an effort to bring Class of 2020 around full circle and connect it with (HED) P.E.’s impressive back catalog, the album cover is an homage to the group’s breakthrough album, Broke. While planning to the milestone anniversary for (HED) P.E., Gomes was able to connect with former members DJ Product and original guitarist Chad “Chizad” Benekos and rekindle their creative flame. DJ Product created artwork for the Class of 2020 album and added his trademark deejay drops on raga-hardcore track “Last Call,” while original (HED) P.E. guitarist Chizad blessed the track “Greedy Girl” with a slide guitar solo. The unholy union that many fans never thought possible came together to connect the past and present incarnations of (HED) P.E. and to enhance Class of 2020 in a meaningful way.
On Class of 2020, (HED) P.E. gets back to the raw essentials, utilizing old-school guitar tones and aggressive, unfiltered vocal stylings at the core of their trademark sound. Longtime fans will find that Class of 2020 is a return to the classic sound of early (HED) P.E. albums.