By Various Artists
It was John Lydon who once stated that 'anger is an energy'. If that's the case, then there's enough of the stuff on this 4 track split EP to power a city. Clocking in at under 12 minutes, this EP gives you such an aural kicking that you might think Eyehategod had moved into your ears, such is the level of unharnessed rage and wretched sounds that pour from the speakers. Featuring 2 stellar examples of why the UK hardcore scene is currently in such rude health, this EP is a no-holds-barred showcase of homegrown talent which will leave any listener desperate for more.
First up are Geordie bruisers Lavotchkin, whose vicious assault on the ears recalls some of Converge's more bleak moments, none more so than on the fantastic, but equally wretched, opener 'Ben Gardner's Head'. As opposed to wallowing in self-pity, Lavotchkin have turned their rage into something far more productive, and thus have brought new dimensions to what we would simply call 'anger'. Their other track on this EP, 'Arkady' remains equally as violent, but burns at a slower pace, adding a more sludgy texture into the mix. Sounding like Bastions and Throats settling the mother of all scores, this song sounds like the embodiment of human suffering compacted into under 3 minutes of sound. Should the Apocalypse need a soundtrack, they need look no further than this EP.
The chaos doesn't stop here however. Leeds crew End To Empires might have more decipherable lyrics, but that doesn't hinder their fury in the slightest. Boasting a more conventional, but no less effective hardcore sound, their half might be a whole 21 seconds longer that Lavotchkin's, but they make each one count with their hard-hitting numbers. Both 'Kill This Epidemic' and 'Heaven's Vultures' are prime examples of what makes the UK scene so compelling, and considering that this is only the band's 2nd release, you get the feeling that they have set the bar high not just for themselves, but for any band looking to break into the scene today.
Overall, this EP is a fantastic showcase of the British hardcore scene as it is today; there's no playing round with studio effects, it's just straight up hardcore, and that is one of the factors that makes this release so enjoyable. If you're looking for a glossy sound and sprawling guitar solos then keep on looking; but if it's relentless, violent, and above all brilliant hardcore that interests you, then grab yourself a copy of this; you won't be disappointed.