Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Split albums are often tricky to get right. Contrary to this being an actual album (it’s a three track EP), my main concern before getting both bands sussed out, was if they’d gel together to make a fluid experience. Or are they both sharing disc space to help promote one another, because they’re mates outside of the illusionary world of music? Well, maybe they are buddies, but thankfully, the two acts compliment each other, almost carefully throughout playback.

Clean Kitchen open up the affair in more of a vibe-cum-jam, initially slouching along, building on layers of distorted guitars and plodding drums, before they get their hands dirty in a disjointed workout, something Primus might get away with producing. The intention of the jam is interesting, helping to introduce the material in an anticipatory way, yet it’s certainly misleading; both of these bands are in their element outside of a groove, outside of focus. They’re on the disc together because they’re ultimately messy together, and it’s a treat when Clean Kitchen begin to fire on all cylinders toward the remaining two minutes of the opener.

Silent Front are much more predatory in comparison – the mayhem is accentuated by Clean Kitchens constraint. The chaos works similarly to hardcore, but not quite on its post-Acidic-trippy levels; Silent Front are more methodical than most hardcore or math workouts. It’s a sophisticatedly British sounding band too, spearheaded by a Damon Albarn (Blur) sounding vocal, performed by Phil Mann, who carries the material with strength as the band manically proceed – he sounds strained and choked, and it works well in the aesthetic of their disjointed headbanging. Dillinger Escape Plan may well be a reasonable point to start if we’re looking for a straight edged, mainstream comparison, then again, definition in the hardcore genre is tough, and DEP aren’t anything to go by for British sounding production values (and can they be considered 'hardcore'?). What’s best about Silent Front is the nature of how they get into the groove of their music; it feels underplayed, matter of fact. They plug in, consciously make a racket, and drop the mic.

8/10 Silent Front / A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen split (Bandcamp)

Posted by Posted by Andy at 8:43 am
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