Monday, April 15, 2013

SIXBREWBANTHA / Water Torture + SIXBREWBANTHA / Agitate - Splits (2013)

Split, Nice Dreams Records / Witch Bukake Records
April 3rd, 2013

Genre: Grindcore/Powerviolence
Region: USA/Canada

Just in time for their soon-to-commence partial US tour and send-off show we have two new and quite fantastic splits involving Six Brew Bantha: one with Buffalo legends Water Torture and the other with Minneapolis's Agitate. Both are out right now and I managed to get a copy of each while at Six Brew Bantha's send off show the other day, and because they great I figured I squish them into one post to make it easier. And it just makes sense of course.

This also the second of two pairs of great grind splits with a wicked leading band, the other being the recent Suffering Mind splits with Phobia and MASSGRAVE which I'll get to soon enough in a similar style post.

First up is the split with Water Torture. Because I only recently submerged myself in the genre I'm not entirely familiar with this two piece but I have certainly heard of them for the past couple years. They're a rising powerhouse of bass/drum powerviolence and they seem to indulge in some experimentation outside of the punishing speeds, and here they employ a guitar with David Pacheco behind that end. So they end up sounding less like Thrones doing grind as they have at some points like on their self titled and the Shellfire EP but are no less capable of snapping necks with their brutality.

Six tracks to match Six Brew Bantha's five and contrast nicely with the more pure grind on that side. I went back and checked out previous records to get a taste of their sound minus the guitar as it seems to worry some people, I've heard its temporary but even so it sounds pretty fucking sweet to me. Of course it's always hard to make something sound heavier than the bass and drums combo they've molded (unless you add a second bass) but here the writing and execution are still crushing.

The first two tracks exemplify this and mesh together so closely they might as well be one track, starting off bouncy before the chaos seeps in; strained yelling underneath the grooves and blasts; both filled with a relentless hammering from all angles and very addictive. You're gonna return for a beating for sure especially for "No trophy", my favorite on this side, because that palm-muted break down is ugly combined with the hate-filled strained yells. This and "Alone Always" are the best here, with the latter consisting of literally two riffs: one blazing and then one lumbering giant which makes the blunt lyrics exponentially more weighty:


"No Trophy" eventually seaps into the relatively thrashy "Home/Sick", whipping you back and forth wrecklessly. "Black Blood" brings back the tumbling slabs in between spazz sessions which Water Torture do so well and I can imagine these would be even heavier with just the bass tearing shit down.

Their contribution sticks with the always gloriously simple formula they've strengthened up until now, and it is guaranteed to crack pavement even when returning to more punky roots like in the closer. From my limited perspective I'd say they strike a good balance on this release with their experimentation and bring some truly jaw-dropping writing here

Six Brew Bantha played a few of these at the last show and that was the first time I had heard them despite their bandcamp having their side up for download since early in the new year. There will be video of that soon. I was still digesting their full length which is something grind finds ought to check out if they haven't, and now I've gotten through their side on this 7" and can't get enough. They continue slinging creative one minute mincing sessions unlike any of their peers with one of the tightest snares I've heard, continuing a socio-political theme lyrically.

The first track "Struggle to Exist" was one of the closing songs the other night and boy is killer, there's a strong undercurrent of death metal in the middle chunk and buttressing that is blazing grind. I love the seamless blend. Other's like "Bred Into Enslavement" return to the core of there thrashing and just rip your face off before a wicked breakdown. A really groovy track and tied   a little bit of dissonance is spliced in the last third during a break downand the pummeling does not decreas

Everything here is engineered to stomp you and I would argue that goes twice as much for the drumming, the snare is just ricocheting inside your skull; unlike the original mix of Adversarial's debut the snare's pang here does not overpower shit. Listen to "Manipulated Public" or "Bred Into Enslavement" because the fills on those are pretty evil. "Opposition" is another good example. What's up front more so are the riffs and vocals, the latter filled with vitriol and unhindered bestial energy; the perfect style for the fury you hear around it.

It's hard to say which side is better. One boils shit down and bulldozes you while the other ensnares you throws you against the wall without losing grip so it'll depend on what you're in the mood for. It's a great collaboration anyway you look at it and I recommended it for sure.

The packaging on this split is pretty nice too so I suggest spending the cash to get it while you can, especially if you catch them on their tour. There was only a few pressed for the band on tour (200 in blue and clear) and even fewer for those who preordered (purple), and you can get the black press over at Nice Dreams Records. Or you can get Six Brew Bantha's side as a name-your-price download.

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)
DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp) Six Brew Bantha

The second of the two splits does not disappoint either, though I suspect more people were awaiting the Water Torture split. Six Brew Bantha destroy shit right out of the gate with "Outcome of Ignorance", a 34 second ripper that leads to a 4 second track and straight into the nicely dissonant "Mandatory Termination". This one is the longest of their side, they played at their kick off show and the was even more amazing, specifically the blasts beats and the transforming tremolo breakdowns near the middle. "Product of Your Environment" sounds like something Discordance Axis might have made in their earlier records; technical and discordant, ending with like a Dangers slam to cleanse you of the writhing prior to it and end their side.

Agitate are a two piece I haven't heard of until now, described as "no-frills mincing grind" withe the addition of "FUCK PORNO-GRIND!" I can go with both those statements I suppose, I can also get on board with the opening sample which is amusing.. It leads to the meat of everything of course: Agitate provide us with a glimpse storm trapped in cassette form as they completely shred the first half of their side in just over two minutes, or two of the three tracks. Occassionally I do get more oldschool punk and crust vibes mostly in the final track which slows shit down (much like Bridgeburner would), keeping it nice and lumbering for almost the entire length before stepping it up to a more crusty level.

Both contribute some nice stuff here but I'm gonna give it to Six Brew Bantha for now, they just don't cease to make memorable grind. Definitely grab the cassette if you can't wait from Nice Dreams Records or hold on and soon it'll be pressed on 7" wax by Witch Bukkake Records; or get both. The cassette is a nice green if you're into that.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire) Full split with Agitate's side cut up for those who care.


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