A split between three bands that all play music that could be labeled as Noisecore, despite the other elements in their expression. The split was originally supposed to feature a young all-female hardcore punk-band called Melusaaste as a fourth group.
Anal Barbara has released only one EP (reviewed here) before this split. Whereas the previous EP was a pretty straightforward and aggressive mush of noisecore, the nearly eight minutes of chaos on this split is quite a bit more complex in a way, and a lot more clear-sounding - the soundscape is quite close to rawer and bare hardcore punk. The song consists of rather harsh-sounding drums that execute short and really short outbursts with rage, and following these short poundings' patterns come the equally harsh and surprisingly echoed shouted vocals. The guitar is rather back in the mix, most of the time one can only hear it's high-pitch feedback and echo aside of the guitar distortion itself. These outbursts don't sound like much on their own at all times due to their simplistic and short nature, but no worries; on top of them there is a very surprising, classical-sounding cello-like sound. I'm not sure if it's someone playing short notes on a bass guitar with a musical bow, but at least it sounds like it. This all adds up to a rather unique-sounding whole, and it's split nature only manages to intrique the listener into getting to know the song more deeply. The whole really starts opening up slowly with more listens, and you find more and more stuff happening during it's play; it doesn't even sound forced as one might think, more on the contrary it sounds even oddly natural. The song's last minute or so is from a different recording session with less edgy sounds, and surprisingly this only gives the track a good, natural ending. Anal Barbara have done it again. 9- / 10
A-(luokan)naali have released one EP and a split before this release. As one can expect, this release presents again something new from them. Their first track is a minute long intro-like one, mostly concisting of a slow and gritty synth pattern to set the mood right, and it works well as a bridge between the two bands. The actual six minute track is a really lo-fi and chaotic one. It consists of really harsh drumming, with almost all of the drums and plates sounding gritty and unclear due to the recording equipment. Somewhere in the mix there's some bass guitar mostly creating some gritty chaos and adding some pulse and lower frequencies to the mush. Some synths can be heard here and there sounding clearer and thus standing out pleasantly amidst all the grit with their simplisticity. The vocals are high distorted shouts as always, and serve just as an another instrument in the soundscape. The song also features some guitar, which is unusual for the band, and it's raw and somewhat thin sound serves well as a spice. The song is a pleasant listen in it's chaotic and unrefined form, which leaves quite a bit to discover with each new listening. It's just that the song doesn't seem to have a general idea that it's trying to follow nor something that it would be aiming for, and it takes the final impact off from the song. It occasionally has a surprisingly free jamming feel which sounds very appealing, but these parts just don't really know their place nor relation to the pure noisecore-moments. It's a bit like you were listening to a raw- or a rehearsal version. Still, the song is a good listen every now and then - and it's rhytmic drum- and bass parts can even be catchy. The band just has made more succesful experimentations. 7½ / 10
Noituus is a rather legendary trio originating from 2005. The band plays very lo-fi and noisy crust punk with bass, drums, and high shrieking vocals, and they've already managed to make quite a few DIY-releases and a bunch of gigs that have impressed, amused and confused people. The band offers six songs under six minutes, and are the most musical group on this split. All the songs follow the same general rules: they're fast, simplistic, messy and aggressive. The harsh and lo-fi sounds take a lot of power from the bass guitar which ends up sounding rather even and it's riffs are inaudible for most of the time, with the harshly hissing drum plates covering a lot of everything up aside of Veikki's high, hoarse and very aggressive shouts with inaudible lyrics and rather basic patterns.Even though the band actually has songs instead of more randomly made noise(core), the chosen soundscape makes their music very fitting on this split. The end result is hissing, droning and lo-fi - really raw and simplistic crust punk played on an unusually fast tempo and a great deal of attitude. This doesn't present Noituus at their best as the six songs are of inconsistent quality, and ending their part in a quick cut-out doesn't do the whole any justice; still, it's a pretty pleasing listening experience and especially so after the a lot noisier A-Naali, and presents well the main things the band is known for. 7+ / 10
The release is titled "Some Heroes of Our Time", the meaning of which is revealed by the cover arts. The CD-R comes inside a two-page slip which is a collage of images and headlines from Finland's yellow press -magazines, and it creates a good contrast to the honest and raw noise presented on the record. The colourscape is oddly dark and grey for some reason, but it's nothing too major when thinking of the price tag of three euros. A bigger bother is the fact that the volume levels vary between the bands, most noteworthily A-Naali has a significantly higher volume level than the two others. Flaws like this are rather embarrassing.
If the split was executed with more care that would've given it a holistic nature, it would've made a lot greater impact. It still manages to present three very different sides of noisecore, and a lot of good stuff - if you're willing to give the record some time. I'm glad that the overall lenght was kept short, as now the listening experience doesn't even get to start wearing out the listener.