.Gram. / …Is Dodelijk Ballern EP
The first recording since 2015 by Germany’s …IS DODELIJK! (“…Is Deadly”) features four new tracks of grimy hardcore that wallow in the proto-HC primitivism of simplistic fast punk songs with brutal shouted vocals. Sung in German and English, thoughtful lyrics decry the rise of racism, musing on the unyielding influence of time and challenge of life, and dehumanization of refugees and the homeless. Slowing slightly from previous recordings, these tracks have more control and direct impact, loose a with a stripped-down feel reminiscent of a less codified era of hardcore, as well as the current wave of blunt, Oi!-inspired anthems. On the flip, Munich’s .GRAM.’s four tracks have a considerably more 1990s feel, in a classic mix of plunging sludge bookending throttling, blast beat and tempo-driven thrash with a few mechanically searing guitar parts. Also sung in German, the lyrics fixate on personal frustration via scathing throaty screams. With their delivery sharpened from previous releases, these four songs are concise enough not wear out their welcome in reliance on snare and shout for impact. Good split EP!