Vinyl review: Agoraphobic Nosebleed/The Endless Blockade split 7″

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By Sean Palmerston

A tasty little 7″ slab o’ wax hot off the presses over at Chez Relapse, this split release features (what I assume to be) three new songs from Virginia grinders Agoraphobic Nosebleed and a handful of tracks from Toronto’s The Endless Blockade (perhaps that city’s best kept secret this side of Moe Panzer’s Deli up at Bathurst and Wilson – nah, actually way better than that).

ANb’s side is a beautiful thing. Kicking off with “Speilberg Summer Blockbuster Snuff,” new(ish) vocalist Katherine Katz is in fine form here, leading the troops to war in convincing fashion. It’s the side’s third track, entitled “Sand Work/Improvised Explosive Dismemberment,” that really makes the most impact however. The song has no guitars, instead a smattering of experimental white noise shrouds the track’s drumming, which has a slight militaristic feel that matches the political vitriol being spewed out by Jay Randall. Not a typical ANb song – not that there’s ever been one – but a worthwhile one nonetheless.

Onto their Canadian counterparts on the flip side… Six tracks from the Toronto grinders, including a five-second megablast named after the band themselves  (a track that appears over and over on almost every release they’ve ever put out, apparently as tribute to SOB). These guys have never disappointed me yet and their half-dozen on here would be more than enough reason for me to buy this alone. I don’t know what the hell they are singing about, as usual, but they have enough swing in their metal/punk hybrid that I can’t listen to their allotted six minutes only once. I even dig their powernoise final track “Phantoms,” which comes across like an early Whitehouse-inspired blast of harsh shouting and power electronics. A “Mick Harris” does vocals on one track too – n0 idea if this is the former Napalm Death/Scorn/Lull member or not but if it is that would be hella cool.

Like most Relapse 7″s, this baby is limited. It’s been released in a one-time pressing of 1000 copies, 500 of which are black and the other half are baby blue vinyl. That probably means collector scum will be buying one of each, making it even harder to find this sick little sucker, so it’s probably best to pick this one up first chance you can. This one’s a keeper and one that would be a shame to miss out on. Great Mike Diana artwork on it too.

(Relapse)

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Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.