When I got to hear Larva's split with Arroyo (reviewed here), I was hoping I'd get to hear more from the project in the future - and behold, I did. Similarly to the Arroyo-split released by the same label, the j-card is a single-sided piece of glossy paper, and the infos about the release and bands are on separate printer-paper. I guess the tapes are around C60 in length, so there's some reeling to be done between the sides.
Supercrabs is a rather young duo from New Jersey and, to my understanding, they've made some demos before this split-tape. As its name says, SC's side of the tape is a live-recording from a gig played to a relatively small audience, but based on the chatter between the band and the few audience members the event was a cozy and relaxed one. But my rambling aside: the band plays primitive and messy noisecore with a guitar and drums, and with both the members shouting their lungs out.
Aside of the two cover songs ("Bite it You Scum" by GG Allin & The Scumfucs & "You Suffer" by Napalm Death) the music consists of harsh and crude noise-bursts that range from a few seconds to around a minute long. The sound quality is good; it doesn't muffle the playing too much, and brings out the primitive blasting and shouts coated with raw distortion of the guitar. The sound could be even messier and harsher for my tastes as the sound is occasionally too clear, making in particular the few slower moments sound a bit silly. On the other hand, it might've been intentional.
The downside to the recording is the humorous chatter between the "songs." I'm certainly not trying to deny that noisecore is absurd by definition nor implying that humour should be banned in it, but too much is still too much. I would rather hear a rehearsal/demo/whatever-recording from Supercrabs, as now the humorous commentary takes too much space from the main thing itself. It's a good-quality live-recording and the band seems decent, but the 21 minutes has too much of "wasted space" and not enough intensity for me to get excited over it.
Larva still sounds as twisted and perverted is it did on the Arroyo-split. Simple and mushy one-riff grind-bits are served with a rough and messy soundscape, programmed drums (again, with good source sounds) and loud and very distorted snarls and growls scattered all around. The guitar-sound is very bassy, but the distortion and lo-fi recording equipment makes it pleasingly raw and crude. Between the grinding noise-bursts there's samples ranging from spoken bits to some acoustic plucking, pop music, old tv-samples, and what-not to further enhance the band's humorous and plain weird side. The final song is a humming ambient-bit with sudden bursts of discorded noise-grind, and I'm sure this isn't the final nor the most experimental suprise the one-man band has in store.
Shortly said, Larva still sounds splendid. The plain nonsense way of mixing grindcore with lo-fi sounds, random guitar-plucking and cheap humour goes a long way here, and the side lasts for just long enough to make the listener satisfied without boring him/her. It defies logic and all sense, and I appreciate it already for the reason that it exists.
This one's certainly not for everybody, but the people into immature humour and noise-grind might want to give it a go. My only complaint is about the SC-side being a live-recording instead of a demo-one, but maybe I'll get to hear one of those in the future. The sides are of very different lengths and styles, too, and along with the humour getting old, these things make this tape an unlikely one to be listened frequently. For noize-freaks.