Hardcore hijinks

Holy Roar Records is getting somewhat of a name for itself of late. With Rolo Tomassi, Gallows and Dananananackroyd on its impressive roster, every signing is going to be subject to a fair amount of scrutiny; when you have found some of the most exciting and vital bands that the UK has seen for some time, every signing, every song, in fact, everything counts. Combining two artists on the same album could have been a risky move indeed, but as both bands use the short, sharp shock rule in their approach and as both are extending the kind of earnest yet unflinching hardcore that is so missing from music at the moment, this is a gamble which has paid off rather well.

Maths kick off proceedings with a blistering effort in effective hardcore. With each track coming under the three minute mark, its brevity leaves you breathless in anticipation, wanting and needing more. Dripping with sweat, excitement, intensity and drive, they seem quite the antidote to the vacuous stylings of other bands of their ilk. In just five tracks, they show immense promise and if their offerings are a mere taster of what is to come, a full album would be a veritable feast.

Throat are the heavier, more downtuned of the two bands but not without their merits. Entering in on full on attack mode, they sound like a full on knife fight; brutal and unflinching their sheer, unrelenting intensity. Despite this apparent heaviness and grittiness of their sound, they still remain as about fresh and as vital as you can get in the hardcore scene. Again, their offerings are incredibly short but with it are incredibly accomplished. This is most definitely a band to watch out for.

At just over 25 minutes, this split feels incredibly short, despite the fact that the intensity goes some way to counterbalance this. It still remains, however, a strong effort and underlines the fact that although good hardcore may not be in abundance, there are some bands coming through who still have the emotion, energy and perhaps more importantly, the songs to really be strong scene contenders.