“And on and on…” Split CD

By Thor

Well, this album couldn’t be bad even if these two grind outfits wanted it so.  Veterans of the genre, both Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Despise You dole out grind like Bob Ross paints mountains and they do so with their own specific and distinct palettes.  While both bands succeed in delivering the goods, their respective levels of success on this split are subject to one’s taste.  Here’s my take:

Despise You plays grind that’s punk as fuck and after a decade-long hiatus their music and the energy it evokes are fierce.  Songs such as “Painted Gray” and “Seven Funerals” completely steamroll anything else your brain may be trying to accomplish.  Vocally, Despise You is a bit monotonous. It’s angry, but angry in the way that you’d imagine a computer programmer, or a science teacher getting angry – not enjoying it, but enduring it.  At first the vocal delivery works, but after a few songs it comes off as belligerent and arbitrarily phrased outbursts.  Similar to the guy down the hall in college who takes PCP and wigs out, it’s entertaining for a very short duration, but before too long, you’re compelled to call an ambulance and initiate some peace and quiet. However, Despise You play their music in a way that more than makes up for any vocal short comings.

What’s there to say about Agoraphobic Nosebleed?  This ain’t their first rodeo.  Their short bundle of songs on this split is bookended by a couple of dynamic tunes that are comprised of a good dose Sabbath-inspired sludginess, with nothing but malicious metal-inspired grind in between.  And it’s mean grind that relishes in its anger, theatric in the slightly self-aware way that metal can be, purposely straddling the fence of cheesiness, and making sure you know they’re angry and enjoying every adrenaline-fueled second of it.  Rather than emphasizing the hardcore punk aesthetic, this grind is infused with enough late model thrash elements to drown Michael Phelps in a torrent of black concert T’s and denim. Their contribution is an inspiration to demolish everything in sight with both a frown and a smile on your face.

The entire package – “And on and on…” – is awesome.  Ranging from sociopolitical rage to cynically dark malice, this is a well conceived package of two unique examples of the same genre, united by grind.  Get it, listen to it, try not to break anything!