Despise You/Agoraphobic Nosebleed - And On And On
2011, Relapse Records
Having been a long time fan of Agoraphobic Nosebleed and the band's particular, ever-evolving, brand of grindcore, I was immensely stoked to see the announcement of their brand new split with power violence old timers, Despise You.
Since I've never really familiarised myself with the latter I was shocked at how completely and utterly Despise You annihilate their partners on this album. Don't get me wrong, I love the AgNb tracks, which range from sludgy slow-as-fuck-moving deathrumbles to vicious grinding assaults, but they're completely overshadowed by the californian power violence act, who incidently may have recorded the most awesomest cover in all of christendom, with their version of punk-icons Fear's old school hit I Don't Care About You (this time titled Fear's Song and with updated lyrics).
This split album, released by Relapse Records, rips through 25 tracks in just over thirty minutes and the styles displayed by the bands work really well together, with Despise You maintaining a very solid hardcore punk snottiness all the way through the tracks and still managing to unleash short amazingly entertaining grinding power violence attacks weaving in and out of the songs; while Agoraphobic Nosebleed's machine-like cybergrind feels less organic, though no less entertaining. The band has forsaken (well, to some degree at least) the insanely short machine-drum grind explosions for which they've become famous, for a more structured, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-breakdown-verse-chorus sort of songwriting, which works surprisingly well for a band like AgNb. Vocally, this time around, they've opted for Jay Randall's raging, snarly vocal style, which in my opinion works better than Katherine Katz's kind of feline and less cohesive voice.
I can't stress enough how amazingly great this album is. I've been listening to it constantly since its release and I just can't seem to stop. This is for all power violence fans who remember the good old days of Slap A Ham Records and were amazed by bands like Infest, Spazz, Man Is The Bastard and Charles Bronson.
To listen to a couple of Despise You tracks off the album just click the banner below.