FAST RITES: because sometimes brevity is fundamental.
Ah, the split 7”, that wonderful little beast that keeps the grind and punk flowing… Short and sweet and frantic and furious, just like the good lord intended it.
This particular one pairs two of the Pacific coast’s finest purveyors of blast-happy chaos – Seattle-born powerviolence quintet Endorphins Lost and Vancouver-based grinders OSK. Endorphins Lost dropped a killer full-length at the tail end of 2016, fourteen songs and twenty-two minutes of raw-throated, punk-leaning anger that found its way into my ears on a regular basis for a good while thereafter. OSK has been silent since their 2014 We Will Never Change EP – although coincidentally, not long into 2017, I finally, belatedly picked up a copy of their strong 2006-2010 discography collection, which comes highly recommended for anyone in need of more quality, crusty grinding.
Endorphins Lost gets side A here, four songs in four minutes, ranging from the hardcore punk drive of the stellar “Mercy For One” to the blistering blast of the twelve-second “Master’s Hair Trigger.” The longest track, at a damned-near epic one-and-a-half minutes, “Prisoner’s Dilemma” pounds a simple riff home with maniacal glee, before briefly flirting with a groove and kicking into overdrive for the home stretch. To anyone familiar with Endorphins Lost’s modus operandi, there’s no surprises here – only power and violence in equal measure.
Stretching their three tracks across another four minutes, OSK varies their tempos more, starting “Burrow” in a mid-tempo lurch that hints at picking up speed until making a surprise shift downward into a second-half trudge. “Let’s Play A House Show” alternates between a fast hardcore sprint and a midtempo groove, but OSK’s finest track is its final one, the deliberate drive of “Directionless.” Balancing Endorphins’ manic cacophony with a steadier hand, OSK occupies a similar space without relying entirely on speed and bomb-blast sonics to get their point across.
At eight minutes in length, there’s not too much to really dissect on this one – it’s a grindcore split from two bands that are very good at what they do. Any listener with an ear for the rawer edge of the manic and destructive should be familiar with both bands, and here’s a chance at one-stop shopping to catch them both…