Do you like short, furious grind from the old-school punk lineage? Do you like not paying for things because you’re a cheap-ass millennial? Are you a pacifist wiener like me? Then boy, have I got the split for you!
War is heck, and punk and grind bands have been reminding us of that fact (and trying to speak truth to the man) for decades. This topic isn’t exactly breaking any new ground, but it is nice to know folks in the underground are still fighting the good fight, especially when so much of our daily lives seems to be bombarded with sound bites about foreign policies and concerns over terrorism. Agathocles and Money Hater may not be reinventing the wheel lyrically on No More War… Stop Genocide, but this theme still fits the split snugly, like a comfortable pair of old, holey boxers.
Intriguingly, what the album lacks in topical originality, it makes up for in both spite and distinction. Although Both Agathocles and Money Hater play grind of the crusty, d-beat heavy variety (rather than the deathgrind school that has become nearly ubiquitous in modern grind), the two bands are hardly interchangeable. This dichotomy lends the split a nice flow and sense of division; there’s a unity to it without requiring uniformity, a characteristic that defines many of the greatest splits.
Agathocles get things started fast and loud with a five-and-a-half minute track simply called “30 Songs.” Sharp readers may have already observed that, yep, this single track is actually a compilation of 30 individual songs. The songs were all recorded in 2013 for the Agathocles half of a split with Paucities called DIY Noise Militia, so you’re essentially getting an entire grind album condensed into one song. That’s ace, especially for a neophyte looking for somewhere to start in Agathocles’ nigh unassailable discography.
If the Agathocles “half” of the split is a bit too conventional for you, fret not! Money Hater has you covered. Though their approach is indebted to the grind fathers of olde, their sound replete with plenty of crusty riffs and grimy d-beats, there are also trace hints of goregrind and slam chromosomes spliced into this young duo’s DNA. The dual vocalists croak and burble like a backfiring septic tank on some tracks (“World Number One Terrorist Is the USA”), capturing a diversity and nuance missing from many grind bands. At times they remind me of Dead Infection, at others Phyllomedusa, but aren’t too similar to any one touchstone. On other tracks, drummer/guitarist/vocalist Cesar slams and blasts and generally goes ape one his drumkit; check out “No One Is Illegal” to hear one genuinely unnerving percussive spasm. All of the tracks are drenched in a deep layer of sweat and noise and something akin to shame and anger. It’s palpable, grimy stuff, and I love it.
Most enticing of all, though, is the fact that this split is totally free and an excellent introduction to both Agathocles and MxHx. If you just have to have a physical copy, keep an eye on the AxRxL Facebook page for news about a tape. Be sure to stay on top of MxHx’s discography at Bandcamp and Agathocles on Facebook.