By Dr. Abner Mality

Tankcrimes Records keeps a steady flow of thrash/punk/crossover vinyl coming and here's a couple of new splits from the label, featuring bands of some notoriety.

The Cannabis Corpse/Ghoul effort is pretty brief, containing two songs each by the bands. Sad to say, the Cannabis stuff sounds rather disposable to these ears. It's that Cannibal Corpse-meets-thrash style with goofy weed-oriented lyrics that bring a smirk to your face. Here they bash out "Inhalation Plague" and "Shatter Their Bongs" and I've heard better from these guys. I'm hoping their upcoming full-length from Season of Mist is on a "higher" plane. Get it? Higher? OK, OK, moving on now, we come to one of my favorite bands, Ghoul, and these hooded freaks never disappoint. "Inner Sanctum" is great stuff with brutal catchy riffs, the patented trade-off between gruff and shrieky vocals and a cool touch of synth. "Spill Your Guts" is just patented Ghoul thrash for all you numbskulls out there.

The Exhumed/Iron Reagan split has some more meat on its bones. with four tunes from each band. I don't know what more you can say about Exhumed except these deranged fuckers rarely miss the mark. "Gravewalker" and "Dead To The World" are pit-worthy assaults of grim, raw thrash with riffs to smash your skull. These tunes don't seem like throwaways at all, they could both have been on "Necrocracy" with no problem. There's also two angry punk covers..."Seeing Red" from Minor Threat" and "Ready To Fight" by Negative Approach. Both kick ass. That leaves new kids on the block Iron Reagan to wrap things up. The band features members of Municipal Waste and the four tracks here are not a million miles away from the throwback crossover of Municipal Waste, only shorter, sharper and more on the punk side. Yelping vocals bring out the beast in songs like "Gave Up On Giving A Fuck" and "Mini Lights". I'd recommend these guys to fans of old Nuclear Assault and D.R.I., but grind freaks might be underwhelmed.

If it came down to a life or death choice between these splits, I'd opt for Exhumed and Iron Reagan. Better things will be forthcoming from Cannabis and Ghoul.