Released: April 2011
Release Type: Split 12" or CD
Genre: Power Violence/ Grindcore
West Coast power violence purveyors Despise You team up with East Coast grind freaks Agoraphobic Nosebleed for what seems to be the split of the year.
Thankfully, after all these years Despise You has stuck with what they do best, but as one would expect and hope, they've added here and there and really tried to trim the fat. "Roll Call" alone makes the split worth it as it shifts from blistering blast beats to d-beats until we get a slew of fuck yous, gang shouts, and the much loved female contributing vocals. It's not only the curb stomping vehemence of the vocals that propel this band, but also the band's dominance of rhythm and song structure that really make it enjoyable. Before there was melody, there was rhythm and Despise You have rooted themselves deep into that heritage. This isn't to say there aren't good riffs, quite the contrary, there's plenty, but those riffs duel it out with the uncompromising drums and vocals to merge each aspect into one pulsating body.
The production this time around is much cleaner, guitars cut off on the drop of a dime and the bass drum threatens to jump out of your speakers and throw a haymaker. Where they retain much of what's made them one of the best power violence bands out there, "Fear's Song" keeps in line with their attitude but plays out like an old school punk song with the simple punk chord progression and drum beat. The proof is in the punk pudding when "All the Regimes You Hold Most Dear" ties together every aspect of the band into one 34 second song. The only thing I could ask for more of would be break downs... but I'm happy where this one leaves it. I can only look forward to what's next. To quote the laconic machine-gunning genius "they drew first blood:" up the ante Agoraphobic Nosebleed.
I've never been much of a fan of Scott Hull's side project, but here I am listening, head-banging and looking for more. A nice aspect of the split is the similar production between the bands, this creates a nice listening experience (although it is a bit too clean for me, particularly the drums). "Half Dead" starts things off perfectly only to be followed by "As Bad As It Is" with its Slayereque dive-bombing and a slew of drums, riffs, and vocals flying around like shrapnel. Agoraphobic Nosebleed play a super thrashy style of schizophrenic grindcore that's familiar enough but at the same time jarring and bone shattering. The varied vocals, every shifting drums and riffs are overwhelming in the best kind of way. "Ungratful" and "Burlap Sack" stand out as the best tracks, the former being a knotty grind explosion where as "Burlap Sack"
crawls along fittingly featuring Kat's vocals front and center (as she sings for the sludge band Salome). A varied whirlwind of tracks from Scott Hull's mysterious bag of tricks.
So far one of the best things I've listened to this year. Well worth picking up.