|Grindcore, Hardcore, Technical Death Metal
No List Records
July 2nd, 2011
Release length: 23:24
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Both both submit material with completely different audio qualities. First up is Breathe Knives, who have a better sound to their recording that has a bit of a muddier sound to it that helps to make the music come off more aggressive. The guitars sound heavy and crushing with a strong bass presence backing them up. The drums are pretty clear too, as well as loud. The cymbals fill the music well when there’s more going on with it, and the same can be said for the tighter snares. The bass kicks have a deep click to them that helps add a little extra edge to things. The vocals, however, are mostly a higher pitched screaming approach that is suiting to the Hardcore approach, but also has some spoken word sections as well, especially during “Wake up Walt Disney.”
Speaking of which, the song is not too bad at first, having a strong Hardcore meets Punk approach that simply feels downright dirty. The music hammers away with precision, and eventually leads into slower breakdowns filled with guitar feedback to push the band’s Noise agenda. However, the one thing that stood out was the spoken word section of this track that says something about having sex with pages “on paper say rape,” which is pretty hard to hear due to the feedback covering it, which goes into “it’s all too common” before shouting “Small crime!” over and over until the end of the song. After making many listeners want to tell the band to go fuck themselves if they are calling rape a small crime, “Small Cheek vs. Ice Cream” kicks in with an audio sample of a man and woman having sex with a narration describing how good she was. This leads into more rhaspy, dirty screaming and a slight Punk Rock vibe to the guitars that quickly goes into cushing, heavy Hardcore that just pounds away at the listener with unbridled fury throughout thanks to a high level of distortion utilied. But “Stag Party”, a cover of the original by Cherubs, is insanely annoying thanks to the use of that obnoxious repeating beep you get when you leave your landline telephone off the hook for too long. It starts the song, and it’s there until the end. It doesn’t add anything to the track, and only ends up being a neusance that’s hard to look past. If you can, the music itself is pretty catchy, and works with the band’s dirtier sound. “False Flag” rounds out the set and comes through as a stronger track with less distortion and feedback, allowing the band to show what they can bring to the table when not experimenting with different Noise elements.
Next is Kataplexis‘ contribution to the split. The audio here can be described about the same as Breathing Knives except the bass kicks as a louder click, the vocals are guttural, and the overall sound is muddier a little more muffled. There’s a good deal of songs here, but many of them are shorter tracks with only one song breaking the two minute mark. “Fuckin’ Hostie” kicks in after an awkwardly long gap of silence from the cover of the Kataplexis original “False Flag,” and it’s more ruthless, punishing sound is immediately noticable. The rawer audio does help to capture the aggression in the band’s music well for the first two tracks. Both are enjoyable for what they are, but out of nowhere “Shitguy” has a cleaner audio quality, and even has a hint of melody to the chords being played, unlike the previous two that focused largely on brutality through intense music and many blast beats. But, as if it didn’t happen, “Cocksmoke” picks up with that slightly more muffled sound once more and brings the brutality and energy back to the mix. There’s also a remix of “Fuckguy” by Diamond Cutter that kicks in after more awkward silence, and feels like an absolute waste of time.
Overall, this split definitely offers the listener a good amount of variety. Of course, there is a largely questionable moments on the first track, but both bands manage to put some good performances together. Breathe Knives may not be the best of the two, but their more experimental sound of Hardcore and Noise is definitely worth checking out for what it is. Of course Kataplexis definitely does a good job at mixing the Grindcore and Death Metal styles together for a brutal environment, though the remix of “Fuckguy” is actually pretty worthless, and even as irritating as “Stag Party” and the beeping phone noise. Both bands do the covers of the other well, is interesting to hear. If you haven’t heard of these two before, then this Split release is one that is worth at least sampling. And even then, it may not be the most amazing split available, but it could very well be worth grabbing for collector’s purposes.
01. Wake up Walt Disney – 3:08
02. Steel Cheek vs. Ice Cream Truck – 2:39
03. Stag Party (Cherubs cover) – 3:01
04. False Flag (Kataplexis cover) – 2:56
|Overall Score: 6.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by No List Records.