Some people have no use for a mosh pit. They prefer to go to shows and watch and listen and do their own thing in their own space. In my case, I’m too old and too big to mosh very much any more. My cat-like reflexes have dulled to the point of being loris-like, and there’s now a high risk I’d either wind up on my ass or inadvertently send someone else to the ER. But I’m damned sure if I heard either one of these next two songs at a live venue, I wouldn’t be able to resist.
The songs come from a new split by California’s Xibalba and New Jersey’s Suburban Scum. It will be released May 13 by Closed Casket Activities, both digitally and on 12″ vinyl. I liked the fuck out of Xibalba’s 2012 Southern Lord album Hasta La Muerte and have been eager to hear what they came up with for this split. I hadn’t come across Suburban Scum before; their last release was a 2012 EP entitled Hanging By A Thread (on 6131 Records).
Yesterday Closed Casket Activities started streaming one song from the split by each band. Xibalba’s “Death Threat” is heavier than the massed assemblage at your average truck-stop diner.
The song’s brief intro sounds like the beginning of a doom track, but when the music begins to move you know you’re in hardcore territory — but definitely metal hardcore, with a huge chainsaw guitar tone and a mid-section that lights the fuse to a headbang explosion. The ensuing breakdown is absolutely obliterating — a combination of brute force pile-driving and squalling, rancid guitar haze. The whole thing is a bleak, bruising, catalyzing experience with multiple mosh-worthy moments.
The Suburban Scum stream is a combo of an introductory track and a song called “Misery Loves Company”. The introductory music wastes no time setting the tone with a run of massive chugs and hammer blows, followed by the raking riffs and bludgeoning drum work of “Misery Loves Company”. And when the breakdown comes it’s like an avalanche of girders, like some skyscraper framework that wasn’t put together very well and just comes apart at the rivets. The vocalist also sounds as thoroughly pissed off as the lyrics he’s yelling. The song is more straight-ahead heavy hardcore than Xibalba’s track, but yeah… mosh meat.
The total run time of the split is 23 minutes, so more songs are coming from each band. Pre-orders of the split should go live at the Closed Casket Activities site in the next couple weeks. Now, feed your inner pit animal with “Death Threat” and “Intro/Misery Loves Company”: