It’s always a good move for noisy bands to put out split EPs. There is something cute and reassuring about the way bands can split records on which everybody sounds really angry and makes pretty music. And then there’s the whole limited edition (500 copies!) green vinyl thing going on which just makes this release even more unresistable.
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This post-punk split pits gloomsters in one corner against more gloomsters in the other, and there’s plenty to talk about, you philistines. Cast your eyes first on Havah, a band that features members of old-school skramz outfit Raein, who once had the same kind of provenance in the hardcore genre as Saetia, Off Minor and Orchid -- bands who let melodies and memories filter into their chaotic hardcore, but not as keenly as contemporary post-hardcore. That kind of discipline is carried forward in Havah’s record; it’s a post-punk record, yes, but it tackles discordant, homogenous strums with grooving, barely audible bass lines and the occasional vocal line that carries a song toward something more romantic. Think Total Control with none of the bright synth or hopeful future: it’s just an occasional slip of something catchier and less defeated.
Havah’s songs are short as you like, and they quickly give way to a nineteen minute piece of scattershot noise from His Blue Electro Voice, a band who scour their vocals in the dirt of feedback. The result is that their work sounds wheezed rather than sung, melodies spat out as guitars wail, distorted, towards their landing point (a brick wall, I’m pretty sure). The noise this trio are making goes where it will and changes hands a few times -- it occasionally hits transcendent sweet spot of early shoegaze bands, transitioning from a hazy whitewash into a spacey, tripped out melody that briefly gets its own spotlight. The band mine post-rock, receding and climaxing with all their might before diving back into a torrent of screams, both vocal and instrumental. This final, feral outburst makes this split feel like a noise rock novel: Havah’s work feels like a suitable preamble to the epic send-off it sets up.
If you like your music surging and seething, tearing off its own face and then recording the sounds, then this shit is for you.
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- Split by Havah / His Electro Blue Voice
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