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ASSERT / SWELLBELLYS '7" split single'




Insider Knowledge zine

Two of UKs loudest punk bands have joined forces to spread intense music. Assert do it on a more political level in their own harsh style, yet like with their last record they are on a path to more melodic songs. Swellbellys are just as punk, with their loud music from the school of Exploited, the newer Exploited that is. Spreading decibels to make us understand how this world works and who or what they hate. For Stranded records it is the first release in many years, and I reckon this absence has preserved the pure punk outlook of this release. Yet both bands sound fresh due to the new millennium technology and wrongs in this society. Check it out.

Martijn Welzen


Nihilism on the Prowl

Can't say I was shocked at this split 45, coz both these shop soiled outfits involved here have been known to guest on each others live sets over the last few years. So it was just a matter of time before an alliance of Indian ink and anglo/Scottish vindictiveness got captured on record by these tattooed sideshows. I was interested to hear the Swellbellys after spotting their 'in your face' performance at HITS a few years ago. Scotlands Swellbellys in case you didn't know, seem to have their rabid sound tight and on the mark these days. But comparisons with near neighbours the Exploited will never be far away. The similarities are pretty distinct. They dish out pretty full on hardcore in that fast and no compromising manner, but alas with no big surprises in store. You know exactly what your gonna get as their best track 'Stone Cold Killa' accelerates out the speakers. It's it's hard, it's brutal but it's also pretty repetitive! They slow things down a gear for the second track which is the drum powered and tribalistic 'Sort Em Out'. A song which is again uncannily like 'War' off the 'Troops of Tomorrow' album. Bet the Swellbellys are extremely pissed off with that comparison by now, but if they want to change our viewpoint they gotta try and create a more original sound to match their gruesome live show.

AVERAGE

I was never a big fan of Assert from nearby overspill of Telford. And ever since hearing their disappointing 'Left Opposition' CD and seeing em live in Derby back in '99. They just didn't live up to the hype. They played just another over the top stop/start hardcore for my liking. And their identi-kit delivery made the bar a far more tempting proposition. But I take all that back on hearing this record! Coz on these couple of tracks they seem to have discovered a whole new improved sound, and their song structures are way more interesting. Even vocalist Britt's Rob Halford (Judas Priest) styled warbling in the middle of 'Poisoned Minds' has a certain appeal. He sounds actually good on this offering with less rants and more presence. And with that neat guitar sound too, which is gritty and crunchy in all the right places. I still can't get my head around their biscuit tin drum sound, but we can't have everything can we? The second song 'Watch The Clock' shows more assertive guitarwork as it beams a haunting lead over the rhythm track. While Britt gives us his take on suicidal depression in the factory units of the UK. Two tales of depressing frustration sounds pretty glum in print, but upon hearing em, they actually achieve the opposite effect! WORTH A LISTEN Comes in a neat gatefold sleeve with lyrics and on Deep Purple vinyl too!!! For more information from Stranded Records and other releases go here.

Nihilism on the Prowl

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