Got ten minutes to spare? Want to ruin the rest of your day with two bands and four tracks of raw, raucous filth? Well, aren’t you in luck. Here to tighten the knot on your hump day’s noose are two of the UK’s fiercest underground acts – the crusty, claustrophobic Sense Offender, and the panic-spreading and wonderfully cacophonous Pupil Slicer. We have the first peek at their brand new split and, if you value common sense and everything good, you’re gonna want to spend some time with this. These two bands write music that gets right under the skin, peeling back the layers of grind, ‘core, and noisy genres from moment one. On with the show.
Side A’s Sense Offender jettison the dark country elements that have infiltrated some of the more popular dark hardcore bands around today – not naming names but if you know, you know. “God Complex” is pumped full of ballistic beats and lurching swoops from both guitar and bass, driving through the middle section with some serious tub-thumping behind lavishly layered vocals and a creepy bitch of a picked riff that drops the hatch on a neck-breaking final flurry. Fittingly, “Godless Complex” is even darker and moodier, without sacrificing any of the ferocity of the track preceding it; more feedback, more layered vocals, more misery – one can easily picture Christian Bale shedding a tear listening to this after gun-fu’ing a room full of militants. Yeah, there are heavy Gaza vibes on these two noisy offerings, but the comparisons don’t outstay their welcome. Sense Offender blend the worlds of piss-soaked crust and progressive, nouveau nasty hardcore seamlessly, and with a unique, ultimately satisfying style.
To call Pupil Slicer more “direct” than Sense Offender’s Michael-Myers-peering-over-a-hedge approach isn’t intended to detract from how devastating their side of this split is. The bass-heavy math grind on “Spectral” erupts out of a brutish (and very British) hardcore opening that pulses with more malice than a gang of pissed up, chain wearing dole louts chanting through toothless maws outside a mosque. The overdriven chords from the bass are as aggressive sonically as the general feel of this first track, the back-and-forth nature of grind, mathcore and back to grind totally relentless in execution. “Crusher” rounds off the split with four snare hits and a ride bell blast-beat that loads up a positively manic, powerfully violent deluge of grit and grind. The slow down into a whammy centric beating is flawless too, shifting through the gears of onslaught with consummate ease. Terrifyingly noisy, Pupil Slicer can carve open my eyes whenever they want.
If you aren’t hitting play again right after finishing this then you either A) better only have had ten minutes to spare in the first place or B) be readying yourself for grabbing this when it drops officially tomorrow. It’s easy to support the UK’s underground music scene when you get the chance to commit violence on your ears with noise like this, so give it a shot. If you didn’t like it, listen to something else.