Exhumed/ Iron Reagan
Split EP

Between this release and their recent blockbuster split between Cannibas Corpse and Ghoul, Tankcrimes has been on an early year roll.  This latest offering teams-up gore metal vets Exhumed with up and coming hardcore/punk/metal destructors, Iron Reagan, for an enticing cocktail of old school death metal and thrashy hardcore punk. They each supply four songs, and while cut from a different cloth, they complement each other surprisingly well.

Exhumed have embarked on a creative hot streak since returning from their hiatus, culminating in last year’s brilliant Necrocracy album; arguably their finest effort yet.  Here they keep the creative juices flowing with a couple of new tracks that take a more stripped back and straight forward songwriting approach, with hints of their earlier roots.  The riffs are raw and punchy; the dual vocal trade-offs typically sharp and catchy; while in traditional Exhumed style they jam memorable hooks up front without dumbing down the more acidic, brutal elements of their sound.

“Gravewalker” features a punked-up main riff circled by a sing-along chorus and killer vocal harmonising between Rob Babcock’s low growls and Matt Harvey’s biting higher register.  “Dead to the World” is equally infectious but a tad more vicious in its execution. Both songs are steeped in dependable Exhumed quality, without exceeding the slick songwriting and sharp melodics of the Necrocracy material.  They tear through fun covers of Minor Threat (“Seeing Red”) and Negative Approach (“Ready to Fight”) before handing the baton over to Iron Reagan.

Virginia’s Iron Reagan are a relatively new act, featuring members of Municipal Waste in their ranks. Last year they dropped their full-length debut and whilst their cross breeding of hardcore punk and thrash metal operates outside my usual tastes, it’s easy to get caught in the upswing of their incredibly energetic and manic delivery.  Ripping through four tracks in less than five minutes, Iron Reagan’s punky attitude and drunken swagger is complemented by tight musicianship and an ample supply of killer riffs and shout along choruses.  With song titles like “Holy Water Makes Me Wet” and “Gave Up on Giving a Fuck” you can tell the band don’t take themselves too seriously, while musically the playing is tight, fast and furious, as raging bursts of speed are undercut with catchy mid-paced segments, where the catchier riffs step into the limelight.

This is another quality split release and worthy investment for fans of either band, with the differing styles creating a strong contrast. The scant length and quality songwriting makes for a fun and catchy ride that demands greater replay value then such a release usually warrants.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
February 7th, 2014

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