This three way split album was released by the shortlived but influential New York hardcore label Striving For Togetherness in 1998, and has been out of print ever since the label ended up closing it's doors a few years ago. There is a goofy pro-wrestling theme that runs through the entire disc, and lengthy, stoopid skits from an imaginary pro-wrestling event appear between each band's set of songs, announcing their arrival. The booklet even has a huge picture of the members of all three bands going totally ballistic in a massive tornado tag team that has decapitated heads flying amidst arterial spray, impending tack-action, and other ultraviolence. In reality, despite the bloodshed that's depicted in the album art, these bands were all buddies and toured together down the East Coast roughly around the same time that this came out, and they made up a weird multi-cultural hardcore roadshow that I caught when it came through Maryland. And on this disc, each of the bands offers five songs, including covers of each other's material and originals. Every one of these bands rip! I picked up the last copies of this split from a distributor that had some playing around because I thought that Romantic Gorilla and Six & Violence would particularly interest Crucial Blasters, each one delivering several tracks of their freaked out psychocore.
Romantic Gorilla from Japan are one of hardcore's best kept secrets. Or most overlooked thrashgods, I'm not sure which. Even though they released an AWESOME album on Sound Pollution, toured the US and were doing their thing at the height of the fastcore/thrash/grind explosion, I don't hear people talk about these cats in the same way that they do with, say, Spazz or Charles Bronson. But man, Romantic Gorilla rip! The music is superfast thrashy punk blasting off at near-grindcore speeds, a hypercharged mix of catchy riffs, machinegun thrash drumming, raging racing basslines, with weird stuff like goofy backup chanting and stabs at lounge jazz that don't quite make it thrown into the mix. Fast and ferocious and quirky, but it's the voice of singer Gori, the tiny girl that fronts Romantic Gorilla, that makes them sound totally fuckin' nuts. Her acrobatic screams swoop from weird growling to chirpy girl shouts and an awesome demonic screech that sounds alot like Pushead from Septic Death. Imagine taking Melt Banana's more straightforward hardcore thrash tunes, stripping away the sci-fi guitar noise and effects, and combining it with Septic Death, and that is sort of what bwe get with Romantic Gorilla. Their five songs on this disc are surreal and nonsensical and read alot like Melt Banana jams but even goofier, with titles like "Hamburger Hairdo" and "Kitty Revenge" and lyrics like "...Hello Kitty / Why do you revenge me? / Did you forget me? / Why do you return evil? " I love this band.
Six & Violence show up elsewhere on this weeks C-Blast new additions list, and I can't get enough of their wacky, double-drummer prog-polluted New York hardcore. The five songs that they contribute follow the same vibe as their album, heavy, thrashing hardcore punk meets metallic thrash, total crossover a la Ludichrist (with whom they've shared members) and later Agnostic Front (whom Six And Violence pay homage to here with a straightforward cover of "Victim In Pain"), but with two different drummers who play standing up and who synch up with these huge tandem beats that get kinda complicated, even whipping out some crazy polyrhythmic patterns when the band is thrashing away at top speed! Then there are the spacey guitar effects, retarded funk parts, and cribbed riffs from Rush and Metallica that are worked into their songs, the unexpected twists in song structure, there's way more cool stuff going on with Six & Violence than you would expect from a New York hardcore band, which they totally are, but they are the weirdest, silliest, most complex and percussion-heavy New York hardcore band ever!
And then there's No Redeeming Social Value, who open up the disc. Kind of like Murphys Law but even drunker, these guys are actually alot better than I remember them being. The music is hard and fast heavy punk with really goofy lyrics about skinheads and being kicked out of Italy and going to the laundromat, and they toss in bits of funk and jangly guitar rock and even full-blown grindcore into their wacky hardcore mix, which suggests that No Redeeming themselves were taking some pointers from Six & Violence. If you were ever into the heavier, later NYHC stuff, you'll love these guys.
We have a small quantity of this out of print warehouse find - these are the last copies we'll ever get.