God, it’s refreshing to have an album of this kind to review once in a while. Such a welcome vacation from wading through huge, stodgy tomes to have a release that you can listen to in its entirety whilst tying your shoelaces or brushing your teeth. What’s also very refreshing is the sound of metal and punk amalgamating so effectively, with the chaotic, unchecked ferocity of punk being turbo-charged with an incisive edge of extreme metal. Or, for brevity’s sake, Powerviolence! Is there any more hilariously named subgenre?
Kruds’ four track contribution to this split is essentially a crash course, with vocals alternating between derisive ululations and bestial barks, like Jello Biafra with rabies. The music doesn’t deviate too significantly from the established benchmark, closely resembling a band practicing whilst falling down some stairs. In an MC Escher painting. As you’d expect from such a crusty concern, the production displays a strong DIY ethic and what’s more, they throw in some rib tickling samples to boot. In fact on first listen I thought our Editor had dropped a bollock and sent me some Hip-Hop tripe instead of the relentless noise attack I was expecting, as the split begins with an excerpt from Compton’s Most Wanted and also contains some prime material from none other than Mike Tyson, threatening to stomp on a child’s testicles. What a guy! As this would indicate, the subject matter is fairly puerile, eschewing the usual politically charged consternation traditionally associated with the genre.
Conversely, Rampant Decay’s fare is much more socially aware, as their opening gambit ‘Political Lemmings’ is a scathing indictment of extreme political beliefs from either end of the spectrum. Their contribution is briefer than Kruds’, at a paltry two tracks, but still really caught my attention from the very first listen, rotating between grimy grind with and the crustiest of punk, with less blasting and no samples, in contrast to Kruds. The vocals consist of dirty death growls and blackened screeching, and an unexpected street-punk gang vocal chorus on ‘Political Lemmings’. This struck a chord (no pun intended) with me especially as it was evocative of the booze-soaked punk rock fare which is rife in the North of England at present. Indeed, both bands sound as if they cut their teeth in scuzzy UK pub circuit rather than good ole Texas.
This release is refreshing, not only for its brevity and ferocity (both of which it displays in abundance), but also for its denuded, salt of the earth ingenuousness. Both acts endear themselves in a unique way, due to their punk influences boasting such prominence; they convey total, unrefined aggression. Granted, their material doesn’t vary too much, and is over very quickly, but given the genre that’s not exactly a shocker. Personally, I’ve found a couple of my new favourite bands here.