Up first is Cadaveric Spasm, a four piece band that eat up a good ten minutes of this recording across five compositions of varying lengths of brutality. The outfit formed in 2009, and since then has issued two EPs, a live album, and a single in 2014 titled The Beast That Smells Blood. For this Split, we are given five new recordings that run between blast beat chaos, as well as catchy, mid-tempo Death Metal grooves, all of which set up a natural sensation of b-grade eighties Horror films.
The former of those two is how “Thanks for the Gasoline” kicks things off. The first minute is just a chaotic mess that shows some technicality in timing before dropping to slower paced crushing grooves with higher pitched growling before the Clive Barker-esque synths kick in to give off that eighties vibe. These little electronic segments are scattered about Cadaveric Spasm‘s contributions, including the lengthy conclusion to “I Stopped Believing” that takes on more of a Drone presence before the final blast, and they really do give the four-piece a fairly unique sound. But there’s also the inclusion of audio samples like that of the start of “Nothing Works Here” (the only one this time around sadly) of a mental patient basically saying that very thing in a loud voice before being greeted by some tight guitars with a slight blackened touch about a minute in complete with some Inqisuition-esque ritualistic vocals, but with a little more bite to them.
And then there’s the Hardcore/Punk Powerviolence group Clit Eastwood, which is composed of members who have put time in with local acts like XDESTROX, The Copy Cats, Divine Symmetry, Oblivion, and many more. Like the previous band, this group has a unique element to them for a North American group of this genre, which is that they bring a lot of Japanese Hardcore, Punk, even J-Pop into the mix, probably stemming from female members Asako and Ryoko’s time in the J-Rock cover band Pocari Shred. But, in the end, the band claims they “love Hardcore and just want to have a good time,” which is something that shows in these six short cuts.
“27 Club” is one of the few straight-forward Crust Punk and Hardcore performances, laced with a really dirty sounding analog audio quality to capture the energy and subtle aggression from every member, as well as a hint of So-Cal attitude in the hooks during a latter bridge. And then there’s the slight oriental Grindcore influence to “C.U.N.T.” thanks to some of the infectious leads and nasal vocal harmonizations. Comparisons can be made to Anal Cunt here as well, though it’s far more dominant later on in the sixteen second “Monster Vag”. But it’s “I Was Married to Gay Hitler” that really makes the band stand out. The guttural vocals at the start are simply monstrous, backed by a pounding mix of Death Metal and Grindcore before the sudden shift to J-Pop melodies that you wish you could hear more of before slamming back into the hostility.
At first glance, this Split between Cadaveric Spasm and Clit Eastwood sounds like yet another technologically stripped down underground assault of raw Grindcore, Powerviolence, and Death Metal you’ve heard time and time again. And, for the most, it’s a fair statement. But when you take a moment to examine just what each band brings to the table, it seems that what material represents each act is just enough to make a good first impression, but never enough to have you feeling like you got to really understand either properly. This is especially true with Clit Eastwood who leave you knowing their just under three minutes of material hadn’t even begun to scratch the surface of what they bring to the table. If you like lo-fi hostility and creepy eighties b-movie undertones, this Split release is something you might want to check out when you get the chance.