I've had this split kicking around for a couple of months now, but just haven't gotten around to listening to it yet. I bought it on impulse when I had a few spare quid in my paypal account, being only vaguely aware of Wolfbrigade as being exponents of that modern crust sound I love so much, yet knowing nothing of Audio Kollaps except that they hail from Germany. Expectations are non-existant for both sides, though I'm excited to hear a couple of bands that I haven't before!
I'm going for what I think is the Audio Kollaps side first, since, rather annoyingly, the label has decided to force you to participate in some sort of 'DIY or Die' confusion in regards to the labelling of the sides. What the fuck?
First track 'Schwadronen Des Todes' opens with frantic buzzsaw tone, then the definition of cookie monster vocals kick in, and it sounds like the vocalist is singing this way for the very first time. I dig into the band's history a little and find that yeah, this was actually their first release, so that might be why his voice sounds so strained. An unimaginative single-snare d-beat hammers in background, with no deviation 'til halfway through, when the whole thing breaks down into a riff-led backbeat, which is pretty cool.
Second track 'Wahnsinn' is much more frantic and fast-paced. It's pretty standard grind, but late on in the track, there's this little weird descending riff that catches my ear. I dig that one riff, but not much else.
The final track, '5 Vor 12' opens with a bizarre sample of... what sounds like circus music, or trumpet-y nonsense soundtracking a chase sequence. Whatever it's from, it seems to have fuck all to do with the actual subject of the song, not that the English translation of the lyrics acually means anything, maybe they work better in German, I don't know. The blast of music itself is okay, but the sample has thrown me too off guard to really pay attention.
I'd need to check out what this band are doing these days to see if they morphed into something a bit more inspiring, after all, they've had 11 years to do so since this split's late-2000 release.
Next up is the side that piqued my curiosity...
It opens like the thousands of other punk/hardcore/crust/d-beat/grind songs I've heard, abrasive riff for a couple of bars, with two-chord accompanying drumfill intro, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And considering I can't get enough of that turn-of-the-century sound, I am more than happy with this record for this first track ('High Tech Degradation') alone.
Second song 'Equality?' opens with the sort of fat bass rumble that, again, countless bands utilise (Stockholm's VICTIMS seem to do it for every second song, and I fuckin' love 'em for it), before kicking into some awesome barked out vocals about the hypocrisy in crying equality, yet judge those who don't share those same beliefs. Lyrics I actually read and relate to? Whoah, this doesn't happen often.
Final track 'Misery' is a short sharp shock, over so fast that I have to drop the needle back at the start to try and catch it. S'good.
This was released on a German label called Epistrophy, who should still have some copies I reckon, as well as a bunch of other German punk/crust goodness I'll get around to checking out sometime.
Check out Audio Kollaps' amazingly 90s site HERE
I can't seem to find an official site as such for Wolfbrigade, other than a myspace link, but I sure as fuck ain't clicking that. Hey bands? There's this thing called bandcamp. Get into it.
In the meantime, here's SOMETHING I found for Wolfbrigade.