Lavotchkin / Crocus Lavotchkin / Crocus

Featuring three songs from each act, this split by British dark hardcore outfit Lavotchkin and Cornish alt-noise quartet Crocus (no, not the '80s hair band, sadly) is an interesting exercise in elevated aggression. Bleak and desolate, Lavotchkin issue death punk reminiscent of Holland's Anaphylactic Shock having a war of noise with defunct bellowers Cursed while Botch slap 'em both about the head and arms. Drawn-out and redlining with distortion, their triumvirate of tunes leaves one wishing this was a full-length. From opener "You Were Dawn" through "Abandon" and "Clouds," their ferociousness is matched only by inherently motivating writing and volatile performances. Not to be outdone for their half, Crocus reveal themselves to be even more embittered and demonic than Lavotchkin, thereby stepping up the overall slaughter. Vicious, scorching and even a touch technical, they elicit comparisons to Refused's artistic tendencies, coupled with Primus's weirdness and Converge-prompted explosive rabidity. Still, while they are clearly more incensed and off the rails than their cohorts, Crocus are a bit too angular to deliver the same endless wallop as Lavotchkin. Instead, they startle, scare and stun, but eventually wear themselves out, while the first portion of this disc makes one feel destined for a life of nightmares. (Klangverhaltnisse)