Maybe sometime soon I will attempt to review a full-length album by someone, but this weekend I’ve been trying to catch up on shorter works. I have two recent split releases to recommend, with full music streams accompanying the following reviews.
RUINS / USNEA
This two-song split makes for an interesting juxtaposition of styles and a good introduction to two bands who deserve more notoriety.
Ruins make their home in Bielefeld, Germany, and this split is their most recent release following a 2013 album (Incidents) and a couple of other shorter recordings. Their track is named “Discrimen”. The band start ratcheting the tension immediately with a buzzing hornet swarm of guitars and the rhythmic thunder of a heavy bass line and tumbling drums. It’s a galvanizing start, and the music grows even more energized and potent as the song progresses and the vocalist’s gritty howls join the fray. Just as the slashing riffs start to really get their hooks into your head, the music veers off the road briefly before getting traction again in an intense finish.
The music fuels a blood lust, but the fist-swinging hardcore aggression is balanced by the band’s talent for interweaving rhythmic dynamism and subtly infectious melodies that have a way of hanging around your head after the song ends. Good stuff.