Kruds/Rampant Decay – Split 7″ (3 February 2012, PATAC Records)
Particularly observant readers may have noticed a slight change to the layout of the blog this week. For those of you who read the mobile version, or get updates by email or RSS, or those who have just discovered the Valley, I’ll give you a hint. For the first time ever in the extensive (coming up on four months soon!) history of the VoS, I’ve added an advertisement to the sidebar of the page. Now, before you all panic, or start writing me scathing emails about how I’ve sold out or whatever, let me explain. First of all, in order to sell out, I’m pretty sure technically you have to be making some money — and I hardly have the volume of traffic where that would be very plausible. No, I’ve basically just put in a link to PATAC Records because it’s good to support small, independant companies, and in particular I have a lot of respect for their business model. Essentially, it works like this: all of their releases are available for you to listen to or download for free (or for whatever price you think they are worth), and when you find something you really like, you can buy it on CD or vinyl (or grab one of the bands’ t-shirts or whatever). Simple, but effective.
So anyway, the point of all of this is basically just to introduce the new release I am listening to today. This 9-minute, 6-track split between Kruds of San Antonio, TX, and Rampant Decay from Providence, RI, has been available for streaming or downloading since 17 August 2011, but PATAC has announced that it will be available to purchase on 7″ record starting tomorrow (3 February 2012). See below for how to grab the free download, but this one’s already worth the purchase price of the physical copy just for that awesome cover art of a hippie getting scalped by a machete, amirite??
“Hatchet Face” leads off the Kruds side of the split, opening up with the first few lines of the Compton’s Most Wanted song “Hood Took Me Under” before exploding into about a minute-long song that alternates between a lo-fi grindy groove and all-out hardcore powerviolent fury, complete with buzzy, trebly guitars and deep, grumbling bass. “Dead Bent” continues with the same sort of aggression for just under a minute, featuring a shouting match between lower-pitched growls and punky shrieky barks. Clocking in around 2:12, the longest track on either side of this record is “Advantage-Harlot,” which intersperses more grindy nastiness between some classic Mike Tyson quotes about stomping on children’s testicles (scroll down to #87 in this list) and wishing he could get a blowjob in peace (#29 here). Following these bits, the last minute and a half of the song is a churning pit of anger that gradually grinds (no pun intended) to a molassesy halt. I find it incredible that despite the filthy recording quality, the guitar and bass parts are so clearly differentiated throughout all of these songs — the ultra-low rumbling of the bass in particular keeps catching my ears, but maybe it’s just me. Anyway, that just leaves us with around half a minute more with Kruds; “Chumbawamba-Fuck Charles Day” finishes off the side in a particularly weird fashion. I have no idea what relationship the British alt-punk band Chumbawamba might have to this song; I couldn’t tell you why the track opens up with this sound; and I definitely don’t know which Charles Day (if it’s even any of these) they might be referring to. But on that last point, whoever the song is about, clearly these guys are not particularly fond of him. After the sample, the song itself is only about thirty seconds long, but it seems more like a mini-suite of three even smaller songs, each with a slightly different style, but all united with the same theme: loads of vitriol directed at the titular Mr. Day — the lyrics consist entirely of “Fuck Charles Day,” “Fuck Charles,” or “Every day, fuck Charles Day.” Fun times, indeed.
On the flip side, Rampant Decay dish out two songs, each slightly under two minutes long. The style here is more of a crusty D-Beat anarcho-punk, with throat-shredding snarled vocals that are almost entirely unintelligible. The first song, “Political Lemmings,” does contain some cleaner, gang-shouted lines that clarify the message a bit (beyond what the title itself has already offered) — that neither side of the political arena, left or right, is any better than the other, and that all politicians ought to be essentially abolished. The second and final track, “King of the Trash,” offers no such clues to its thematic content, but does it really matter? The tone of these sneery croaks tells you all you need to know about the anger and hatred contained within. If this doesn’t get your head and/or fists moving, you may want to check with a doctor to make sure you still have a pulse.
Listen to all six songs, and download them for free from Bandcamp:
** A couple quick updates (3 Feb)…
The lyrics have now been made available for the Rampant Decay tracks (Political Lemmings and King of the Trash).
And, the 7″ vinyl is now availble for purchase. Available in either black or purple, and it’s only four bucks, check it out!