Since inventing grindcore in the 1980’s, the UK has been a hotbed for this extreme form of music. Owing just as much to punk and hardcore as it does to heavy metal, grindcore has been a pretty divisive genre, with metalheads saying it’s too punk, and punk rockers saying it’s too heavy.
In this split LP you get two bands that play on the opposite edges of the grindcore spectrum. With Newcastle’s Prolefeed, for instance, there is definitely more of a punk/hardcore feel, with yelping vocals, buzzsaw guitars, and d-beat sounding drums. With song titles like “Robocock” and “There’s No Cure For Being A Cunt,” it’s safe to say Prolefeed also bring a punk rock attitude and sense of humor to their music. Aggressive, and fast, Prolefeed will certainly appeal to any crusty kid worth their weight in Doom and Amebix backpatches.
On the slightly heavier end, Leeds’ War All The Time play a fast, brutal version of grindcore reminiscent of early Napalm Death and Kill The Client. While there is still plenty of punk and hardcore in their sound, War All The Time blast through tracks like “Public Execution” and “Tonge Dynasty” with a ferocity that leaves little doubt about the band’s heavy influences. The vocals on War All The Time’s tracks have a Barney Greenway vibe to them, giving the songs a sense of urgency. The vocals even briefly delve into a deeper, guttural growl at times, as in “Revolution”.
The production on this split is pretty much on par with the underground DIY punk aesthetic: buzzy guitars, loud snares, not a whole lot of low-end, and the vocals are high in the mix. For grindcore/crust punk/hardcore fans, this won’t be an issue at all, but if you’re looking for a crystal clear production, you’re barking up the wrong tree here. In the case of Prolefeed and War All The Time, I can tell you that punk and metal do indeed mix, and I will be keeping an eye on both bands in the future.