Agoraphobic Nosebleed & Despise You
And On And On…
- Repeat Until You Fail
- Roll Call
- Three Day Hold
- Yes Officer / No Officer
- Fear’s Song
- Two Or Ten Faces
- Shit Goes In, Shit Comes Out
- You Can’t Fix Me, Don’t Trip
- Painted Gray
- All The Regimes You Hold Most Dear
- Bankrupt Social Code
- Seven Funerals
- They All Died Is What Happened
- …And Expirations
- Ceder Ave. (Was The Best Place To Watch People Ascent To Heaven)
- Half Dead
- As Bad As It Is…
- Los Infernos
- Burlap Sack
The inherent reason to release a split is normally to combine the fanbases and half the recording costs. In the modern internet run age we live in, surely the split is dead. Anyone can start a home studio and teach themselves how to get a fairly respectable sound out of mediocre equipment in a matter of years and any fan who wants to learn of similar bands will more likely trawl through Facebook or Bandcamp pages than buy a split released by an already respectable band. But Agoraphobic Nosebleed were never one to abide by fan expectation. So a split with the long slumbering powerviolence outfit Despise You should be no surprise to anyone.
I’d say it’s fair to assume that the majority of people would be interested in Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s share of tracks so, if like me, this is your first run in with Despise You then you’ve probably not got much of an idea of what you’re getting into. Well, if you’ve been following Jay Randall’s Grindcore Karaoke label this year you’ll understand his love of absolutely unrelenting powerviolence bands like Hoglust and Inerds. I don’t claim to know a huge amount about the genre but it’s I’d guess a lot of the label take at least some inspiration from Despise You.
Cramming 18 songs into a mere 17 minutes, they keep it all a very simple affair – only ever really veering into the realms of traditional punk for the one and a half minute epic “Fear’s Song“. However, where they really show their talent are the tracks that experiment more with tempo rather than the ‘one gear only’ methodology that dominates their half of the split. The best example of this is probably the consecutive one-two of “Three Day Hold” and “Yes Officer / No Officer” which both display sneering mid-tempo punk before turning on a dime and lapsing into a breakneck fury. Also of note is the interplay between male and female vocals, it’s much in the same vein as the aforementioned Hoglust and it adds some much needed variety to proceedings, even if the female vocals remind me a little of the atonal screech of Atari Teenage Riot‘s Hanin Elias at times.
Agoraphobic Nosebleed handle their half a little differently this time, most notably in the 4 minute tracks that bookend the album and take up the majority of the run time. Rather than the normal face fisting grind we’re used to, it takes a slower trudge through Godflesh territory and comes across as an interesting experiment. However, it’s not one I hope they repeat — I’m entirely open to bands trying something new but these tracks feel fairly awkward in their execution. They just don’t contain enough good ideas to justify the track length. On the flipside of the coin, the five other grind tracks on offer here are relentless, leaning a little more towards their roots by cutting the fat and keeping track lengths to the bare minimum – but this is still the pure Gonzo grind madness displayed on Agorapocalypse.
So is the split dead? Probably. But who cares? Agoraphobic Nosebleed know you’re a bunch of “Ungrateful” fucking nerds anyway.
Agoraphobic Nosebleed & Despise You – And On And On… gets…