Gorgonized Dorks is a duo with five years of history, during with they've released somewhere around 90 releases with their style varying from noise to noisecore and various experimentations within that field. xAOAx, or Architects Of Apocalypse, is a hardcore/noisecore trio and this is their official debut aside of some really limited demo-tapes and a couple of compilation parttakes. The band has shrunk down to a one-man band some time after this release, but will still keep on releasing both old and previously unreleased material and wholly new material.
GD starts the split with something not usually heard from them; simplistic punk rock, with clear song structures and all. I think that the band is trying to tribute the street punk bands, and do it well while still managing to showcase their own style on the side. The first two are pretty fast and straightforward, but have a nice bit of appeal nonetheless. The lo-fi guitar- and drum sounds suit the songs well, and the oddly low and croaking, almost spoken vocals are also decent aside of being pretty back in the mix and for adding very little edge or catchiness to the songs. The third song is slower and more groovy than the two previous ones, and it's chorus is bound to stick to your head despite the vocal style. After the track four, which is a fast and short song as well, we get to song five. It's a mid-pace and groovy track, with dominant sci-fi / tv-horror -synths giving the track a whole new extra dimension - the track's name gets you a long way here. It has a really dusty and retro feel, and the crude and hissing soundscape (and the track being an instrumental) make it a great way for the band to end their side. Truly appealing.
I personally think that the band could've made their side more interesting by using a clearer vocal style and some more experimentation with the faster songs, but the fact is that we're talking about a noisecore-group here - this is not the band's actual style. I'm really glad that I got to hear these songs, even if it just for the simply great songs three and five. If the band took this style seriously they could perform some simply great tunes, but as of now this is more of a curiosity for those who happen to find it. It's catchy and appealing, but could've been executed way better.
GxDx : 6½ / 10
Now we get to the actual noise. Architects of Apocalypse's input consists of six really crude rehearsal-tracks of something between hardcore punk and noisecore, with even some power violence here and there. The soundscape is messy, harsh and somewhat chaotic, but still manages to give a pretty good image of what the songs are like. The songs vary from a couple of shorter moments to faster parts, and to downright PV-chaos which is pretty hard to make out due to the soundscape.
There you pretty much have it. The songs don't really offer much due to their simplisticity, and the shouted and hoarse vocals don't add any extra edge to the soundscape either. Nonetheless, the record is a pretty good one if you're in search of some distorted and organic, honest-sounding rehearsal tapes to fill your needs for chaos and aggression. This offering is good for an occasional listen, but due to the band's young age and their unrefined soundscape and style it doesn't offer much in the long run. I hope that their next offering will have more depth and dimensions to it.
xAOAx : 5+ / 10
CDR-format is not usually the best one for split releases, but it works decent on this one - and the split will be released as a tape in the near future, so even if you resent CDR-splits you needn't to worry. This release is quite a "limited appeal" -type of release, but fans of truly underground and honest noise-making might do well to check the bands out.