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8 out of 10
The humble split single - a mainstay of DIY, it provides a way for bands to split costs between themselves, a way of giving the listener twice the music for the same price. The only problem with the split release is that, more often than not, one band is far superior to the other which results in one band being forgotten about, or at worst, remembered as being the awful band on the other side of the record (I'm looking at you Spitboy). Holy Roar's latest offering, 'New Roars On The Block' gives us four bands for the price of one. With Holy Roar records you can always be sure of an interesting listening experience, by which I mean some dude yelling a lot, and this latest offering doesn't disappoint.
With a cry of "WATCH OUT", Easy Hips open proceedings with a blast of sassy hardcore. Mixing choppy guitars and big riffs, Easy Hips sound like they've devoured the entire Three One G back catalogue and spewed up a great big spazzy mess. It's the kind of thing that only the exuberance of youth can excuse, all flailing limbs and high pitched screams; at some point in the next year or so, the boys in Easy Hips will become wary of sounding like The Blood Brothers, will try and grow beards and become a noise band. Not everyone can get away with this kind of thing. But for the time being they should enjoy being a white-belt wearing, spazzing out, sassy bunch of boys. As an aside, I think one of the riffs in 'White Ace' is from a Racebannon song. Watch out for that.
Two-piece Run, Walk! Close the first side with '3, 5, 10'. That they're a two-piece should give some indication of what they sound like; bass and drum combo that sounds like Lightning Bolt with less big riffs and more a of a Fugazi influence. Every city has one and if Run, Walk! don't want to go the way of Crom or Breezus they need to make sure they bring their A-game to their next split release.
Dreamboats and Le Swing take up the second side. The former provide a kind of slowed down, sludgey take on hardcore, with some classic rock and roll riffs thrown in for good measure. The latter deliver yet more sass, this time with a slight angular feel. They also share members with Easy Hips and by the sound of it it's unclear where one band starts and the other ends. The best description for Le Swing would be Le Shok + Swing Kids = Le Swing, which coincidentally must have been how they came up with their band name. It's funny how these things work out.
The bands on 'New Roars On The Block' possess that which is often the most loaded of comments, being 'potential'. Often used as a by word for suck, here it applies unequivocally. These four bands could easily develop and serve up some real punk rock treats, most notably sass-mongers Easy Hips. At the moment some of them seem a tad under nourished, but with a little time these bands could serve up something far more satisfying than the wares on display here.
Listen: www.myspace.com/easyhips, www.myspace.com/runwalk, www.myspace.com/dreamboats666, www.myspace.com/leswingleswingleswing
1. Easy Hips - leopard print catsuit party with old man watts
2. Easy Hips - White Ace
3. Run, Walk! - 3,5,10
4. Dreamboats - Fallen Rose(s)
5. Le Swing - Ross Kemp on Bands
6. Le Swing - Deaf Pens