UHC - Ultimate Hardcore Championship

The split EP is a tricky beast. Taking bands of the same genre, it places them beside each other much like fighters in the ring. Despite bands often being tour/ label mates, long term acquaintances or friends, the aim of the game is to deal the knock out blow and usually there is only one victor. If your average band are merely boxers sparring for victory, hardcore bands are the UFC of the music world - dealing crushing attacks with every beat, every chord and every scream.

In the red corner are Lavotchkin: all measured aggression in short, sharp rat-a-tat-tat attacks. From the rapid fire assault of ‘You Were The Dawn’ which relentlessly punches its way along bloodied but assuredly, to the slow, intense burn of ‘Abandon’ which ramps its way into a calculated fury: this band are weighty contenders. Yet despite solid efforts, the deliberate, almost metronomic approach seems a little starchy, too clean, too considered for such a fight.

In the blue corner are Crocus: all frenetic, frenzied energy: they are the wild young bucks and the antithesis of the measured blows of their opponents. ‘A Spirtual Polemic’ violently cavorts around with its complexity, changing structure and speed, as does ‘Ignorance We Swallow’ which also teases its contenders with its unhinged, adrenalin infused chaos and urgency.

There are no knockouts here, just two bands on form and at the top of their game.