SPLITting Headache – Grizzlor / Barren Womb

Why, you know, since we get splits now and again we figured, why not make a cool new feature out of it?  We have a VS feature, but that’s reserved for two bands from the same label, or two albums from the same band.  This is not a competition, this is an exposition of all things split.  What better title to use than one playing on an old catchphrase?  Today we’re checking out this blessed 7″ featuring two acts that meld incredibly well together: Grizzlor and Barren Womb.  Sometime with splits you get a heavy weight on one end, but not here, this is perhaps one of the best match-ups we’ve come across.  So seamless you might confuse one for the other, and that’s not a bad thing this time.  This plastic beauty comes courtesy of Riotous Outburst Records.  Please note, we’ll be scoring each band separately for this type of review, with no combined average at the end.


The first half comes from Grizzlor, sludgey noise rock from out of New Haven, CT.  Didn’t you know He-Man band names were a thing?  Anyone who grew up in the 80s and played with those, all gimmick, no substance, kind of needed to get that rage out eventually.  So go black metal and call yourselves Skeletor, or B-level 90s alternative metal and call yourselves King Hiss while making a video with light bulbs around your head for some reason.  These guys here, they decided to go the hairy route of Hordak’s Horde, specifically the one guy with all the fuzzy hair that started to stink after a few weeks of play.  We say that because we imagine these guys stink after all of this mess, but much unlike that pungent death you sometimes imbibe from the wrong girl in the right position.  This is the stench of manly musk from guys playing a squat party in the middle of an electrical fire caused by their strumming.  The drums are guttural, the vocals collapse in the back amongst broken bottles of vodka, and the guitar/bass sounds was recorded out of an amp that was throttled in the sack one too many times but still loves how you do that thang.  The amount of purposeful degradation here does a great service to Grizzlor’s sound, especially that falling apart by the end of their second, and last track, “it’s all bullshit” [sic].  Grizzlor Official Facebook  Score: 4.5 / 5


Barren Womb

Coming from Trondheim, Norway, Barren Womb prove that noise rock/punk from their home country doesn’t have to suck as much as that band everyone keeps pretending is good (click only if you desire seeing symbolic angels sticking out their tongues in a factory for no clear reason).  This Womb is most certainly not barren, it’s birthed at least eight kids, at one time.  At one time do you hear?  Out of this womb, though, comes more than children, out comes noise, noise with the bend of punk.  First, consider this, there are only two members in this band, and they kill it, absolutely kill it, and they do it without any of that kutte-my-mom-made bullshit, or that blahsome 4/4 “how’s this chord me lads” gunk that’s been running the punk scene for way longer than it should.  This is new punk, noise punk, and it’s an incredible meld with Grizzlor, so when the split shifts from one to the next, the styles are so similar your brain needs not a second to adapt, it’s already in, deep, deep in that womb.  When they start those notes wrap around those frets like a pretzel chef on PCP accidentally twisting up his own organs in place of dough.  They even manage some interesting experimentation on the last track for a nice outro, of sorts, to top it all off.  One more baby out of that womb?  Sure, here it comes, deformed even.  Bloody, just-slit-my-throat vocals, raw energy, yeah digging it guys, keep it this harsh and hateful the next time around.  Barren Womb Official Facebook  Score: 4.7 / 5


Written by Stanley Stepanic