I submit to you for your, maybe, overdue dose of rise and grind, the rousing split EP of Liverpool’s self-described equestrian blast-core band, Horsebastard, and Viennese ruthless, but horseless grindcore band, Noisebazooka. Please save the standing ovation for the very end.
First on the steed are Horsebastard, who’s 6-track side barely breaks the four-minute mark; only two of those songs sneaks past one minute. It certainly takes some talent to get the job done in the amount of time which Horsebastard certainly did (without being turned into glue). It’s tough to even catch a breath between the songs at the unrelenting pace that their tracks are set to. Reviewing them individually would be redundant and force me to frequent my thesaurus every couple of seconds, so let’s boil this down to the bare essentials. This is fast, punk, death, grind done very well (in my opinion). Realistically there’s not much dynamics between the songs but it’s not like that was the goal to begin with. It’s frantic and to the point, with precision drumming and musicianship. I’m honestly not sure if I can make any appropriate comparisons here, although I will say it reminded me of a less mind-fucky Ion Dissonance, which I’m sure is the most entry level musical comparison I can make.
There’s great interplay between the high and low vocals done by singers, Chris and Johnboy, while the drumming and guitar work are impeccable for the style. The production is exactly what it needs to be: not polished but not sub par with just the right amount of grime to give it that raw feel. This band deserves multiple listens, and is something I can come back to whenever I need a quick kick in the teeth.
Now for side two.
Vienna’s Noisebazooka is a slightly different story. Just as frantic and to the point as Horsebastard but the execution is slightly off. For one thing, the production is, unfortunately, lacking. I don’t want to directly compare it to Horsebastard, but it’s rather hard not to given the circumstances. There’s a clear difference between the two bands’ production quality and that makes Noisebazooka much harder to listen to. Musically it’s solid, and the musicianship does shine, but, depending on your taste, it might be harder to find.
The killer for me on this record is the vocals. To put it biblically: they sound like “wailing and gnashing of teeth” and definitely not in the good way that grandma used to do it (again, this is my opinion, and some might love the shit out of this). They have little to no finesse, and it just sounds like incoherent screams. So, if that butters your bread then dig in, but it’s not for me. There just isn’t much that captures my attention on this side. I can appreciate the musicianship, but that where it ends.
Written by Paul Ablaze
*edited by Danielle Kenedy