Saturday 5 January 2013

Various Artists - Copenhaarlem EP

EP review by

Yep, there is a clue in the title. This EP is a joining of forces between Copenhagen record labels It Was Gnarled and Pad & Pen Records, along with Haalem (Netherlands) based Geertruida Records to showcase some of the underground talent from both countries. We get four groups who contribute two songs each, although one of these is a collaboration between Haarlem bands Those Foreign Kids and Treasure Of Grundo, making seven songs in total. If we look at the Dutch bands first, we find that both have a vintage sound and although different in style, both could be from the post-punk/new-wave era. Those Foreign Kids' 'Nude Pollution' is hardcore post-punk with throat-bleeding vocals and guitars that attack you like a hail of bullets. Treasure Of Grundo on the other hand, deal with more electronic sounds. 'Jiévelle' is still messy and dark though, with just a burst of melody to lighten it. Their oddly named joint effort, 'HD Sports Channel & Alpine' is crunching, harsh electo-rock of the variety that Atari Teenage Riot used to make.

The two Danish bands do nothing to dampen the ferocity, with Himmelschiff Excelsior sacrificing songs for straight ahead noise pieces. 'Sickbay Clasp Part 1' screeches and groans its way through two minutes of parent-baiting distortion, and 'Sickbay Clasp Part 2' deviates very little from this, just bringing in the ghostly outline of a tune that may once have stood where this din is now standing. It's then left to The Beardy Duffs to complete things with a brace of their compositions. They kick off with the rumbling opening to 'Dead Poncho' which very soon gets swamped with a haze of razor-wire guitars and distant, angry vocals. The pace is frenetic and the songs are again twisted and camouflaged by the maelstrom of sonic terrorism. 'Shades' almost tricks you into thinking something sweeter is on the way with a twinkling intro that lasts all of a second before it's drowned out by vocals that sound like a demonically possessed man screaming through a megaphone underwater. By the sounds of it these two labels have got noise-rock well and truly covered.

Geertruida's website

Pad & Pen's website

It Was Gnarled's website

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