Reviews

The Hirs Collective / Lifes Split Microcassette

I love rare formats, and I also love tiny things, therefore I wish the archive had tapes, or I wish I could just file this release between our 5″ and 1″ records. This cassette features one song from each band. LIFES opens with a short clip of the intro to PRINCE’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” and proceeds into a steady roar of grating, distorted, blasting guitar and plaintive screams. I particularly appreciate the lyrics of this song, which were inspired by the questions of a four-year-old girl about life and death. It’s actually pretty long for a grind song—it even has a bridge. The HIRS COLLECTIVE track has a very melodic opening with building tension, then the overpowering drums hit you with a stampeding thrust. The limitations of my microcassette player speaker means I can barely hear the guitar and bass, but it’s a consistent scrape in the background under partially sung, partially shouted, and partially spoken vocals. Ends with white noise beaming as if through a slowly rotating ceiling fan. The song is dedicated to all our lost friends, and the lyrics are very powerful—harm reduction politics and compassion as well as support. There are only 25 copies of this release, but it comes with a dainty lyric sheet with beautiful art detailing gloves, a photo of LIFES playing in the woods, and the HIRS name stretched out to appear as prison bars with blue femme hands with long nails gripping the bars, and the words “burn every prison” below.