Considering it's 'just' a 7", you get a lot of bang for yer buck, as it features four bands, flyers, a patch, and a lyric sheet. I'm always interested in hearing bands I haven't before, so I'm going to start with the three I'm unfamiliar with: In Defence, Opposition Rising, and Embrace The Kill.
Minneapolis' In Defence are up first with their track 'United Farces', which according to both the lyric sheet and the gang vocals, is about corporate bailouts, a subject most people are pretty angry about these days, perfect lyrical fodder for pissed-off hardcore.
This is hardcore verging more on the crossover side, with a few thrashy sections in the verses, and a few scuzzy solos thrown in. These guys should come over the pond and tour with Liverpool's SSS.
Opposition Rising, from Boston, continue the theme with 'FTW', which gives you a pretty good idea of what their viewpoint is. Fast-paced hardcore backs barked words of misanthropy, the chorus, somewhat obviously, being Fuck The World gang-shouted over and over. The music is tight and muscular, which is a bit of a stupid description, but it's what coems to mind listening to this track. It chugs along for a couple of verses before the pace slows for a breakdown before speeding back up for the final blast of fuck the worlds. Not usually my bag, but this was pretty damn good.
Embrace The Kill open the other side of the record with a fucking BIZARRE flamenco-sounding intro to their track 'Blacklisted'. The flamenco gives way to a bouncy rhythm with some tremolo picked guitar, which goes on for a few bars before another weird stylistic shift occurs. The vocals kick in, sounding like taking-the-piss black metal or something. Well, for one line anyway, before the vocal duties seem to split between two members, call and response style, the other voice having a guttural cookie-monster vibe. The first verse ends (I think, this song is impossible to keep up with), and there's a thrashy divebomb before another punked-up black metal-ish section kicks in. These guys clearly couldn't decide on what kinda band they wanted to be, so decided to do EVERYTHING. It doesn't exactly make for easy listening, but after a couple of spins, I appreciate it.
There's even a little Minutemen-esque jazz bass couple of seconds before the tempo lurches between mid-paced and a powerviolence blast. If you want to hear about a million ends of the punk spectrum, listen to this song. These guys must be fucking exhausted, and exhausting, when they play live.
Hellmouth sound like they couldn't have come from anywhere but the decay of Detroit, and they were the band that this record was purchased for. Their track is a demo version of 'Amen, Assholes', an anti-religious burst of bile with the crust-tastic chorus of 'No Gods, No Masters, Bow down to no bastards'.
I've heard the album version of this track countless times, but this version sounds rawer, looser.
The opening burst of rat-a-tat machine gun drums gives way to a ripper of a verse, ex-Suicide Machines vocalist Jay Navarro using his torn throat to lay into all religions, not just content with being antichristian, his words are equal-opportunity destroyers. No deity is safe.
I might be biased, but this is easily my favourite song on this split, it's short, sharp, and to the point, pulls no punches, and doesn't outstay it's welcome at just over a minute. Fucking great.
If you want a copy, there are still plenty available over at Profane Existence. While you're there, check out the rest of their catalogue too, there's a lot of great bands in there.
Check out each of the bands' sites too: