Review: AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED/DESPISE YOU – “And On And On…”

By: Ross Gnarly

Despise You begin their side of this split with a brute force grinding attack. Filthy and aggressive, the first track comes and goes in 39 seconds. I’m not absolutely sure why, but I have not listened to a lot of Despise You in the past. I just kind of overlooked them until this release. I’ve heard them on the This Comp Kills Fascists, but that’s about it. This band has some serious aggression in their music. Fast, ferocious, bitter and punishing. Most of the songs on their side fly by in the blink of an eye, but these songs are still killer. I mean, I am a grind freak, so these short songs are fantastic. To quote a friend of mine, Mr. Sean Gresens, “I don’t need to here the shit twice. If I want to hear the chorus again, I start the song over.” I think that fits very well, not just for this band but for grind in general. I really like the vocals by this band. The track “Fear’s Song” specifically. It has a bit of a cock rock vibe to it. The dual vocals seriously set this off. The high pitch whining vocals are a little strange at first, but I can get into it because the music is fantastic. “Fear’s Song” has become one of my favorite tracks on this side because of it’s fun, punk atmosphere. I can’t single it down just yet, though because this side is no where close to the end. This band harnesses the feedback and distortion as another element to their sound rather than just something to throw in. Every track on this side is pretty different from the last. I like that kind of diversity in a grind band. It seems Despise You will always keep you guessing. One minute you have a pulverizing, straight up grind track and the next you have something crustier in the vein of Rotten Sound. I love it. This band is really growing on me. The track “Painted Gray” has a fantastic tone to it. Amazing guitars, hammer drums and those extraodinary dual vocals set it off.  “Seven Funerals” has an unbelievable vibe to it. Very crusty with a lot of punk influence. The grind is still obvious, but these guys bounce back and forth between sludgy passages and fast, chaotic passages. It’s crazy considering this track is less than a minute long. The final track on Despise You’s side is also the longest track. Clocking in at 3:29, I am amazed right off. The track opens with a sludgy, doomy atmosphere. Slow guitars and drums add a whole new side to this band I previously was unaware of. Beginning around 42 seconds in, the track fades to fuzz (I love this phrase). Close to 1:30 in the track is back into it’s dirty, sludgy ways. Ambient lead guitar parts lay over the slow, muddy riffing. This is insane. Not only does this band have an instrumental on their side of the record, they have an sludge instrumental! Wow. Killer side, dudes.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed are legendary. I can’t go into their side without honestly saying I am going to love it. I am a huge fan of these guys and I love everything they’ve done. The first song on their side is called “Half Dead” and it begins much like Despise You’s last track ended: sludgy and filthy. ANb have always had a pretty diverse and unique sound, so I cannot say I am surprised. In fact, I dig this a lot. I am a fan of this style of music as well as grind, so it all works out. The vocals on “Half Dead” are epic. Yell-singing over the dooming monstrosity. I love the riffing on this track. In fact, I love this track. “Miscommunication” was the first single that ANb released off of this split, so I am well aware of what was in store for this track. It’s a pulverizing grinding beast that turns sludgy towards the end. It is short and sweet and I absolutely love this track. 25 seconds of pure fucking awesome. The next track “Los Infernos” is close to the same formula minus the sludgy section. This track is full out grind. Pissed off grind at that. Love it. “Possession” contains addicive riffing that I fucking love. I love the vocals that ANb is using nowadays. It’s very easy to understand. Clear and very punk. it sounds amazing and it blows my fucking mind. Nice, sweet solo comes in around 1:05. Kind of came out of nowhere, but it’s sick. The second half of this track has a fucking killer groove. Another solo! Fucking “A.” I love this band. The final track on this album is called “Burlap Sack” and it begins with a thick-as-mud bass line over a blanket of feedback with nice, slow drumming keeping a steady pace. At 56 seconds the intro is broken by those amazing vocals. This track seems to be headed in a direction that I can only call chaotic sludgy hardcore. There is quite a lot going on on this track. I lose track every now and then and have to keep making sure I am still listening to the same song. I love the riffing on this song. It’s fantastically executed and extremely catchy. Well, that does it for this split. Holy shit, I think I just lost my fucking mind. Grinding Madness! I love it.

Rating: 10/10
For fans of: Crossed Out, In Disgust, Pig Destroyer
Favorite Tracks: “Fear’s Song” & “Los Infernos”

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