Since releasing the fantastic ‘Cursed to See the World’ last year, Brooklyn’s sludge power-trio Mortals have been a busy bunch, touring North America more or less incessantly and preparing to make their way to the other side of the Atlantic this year. Somehow they’ve found time to record the former half of this split with Philadelphia’s Repellers, another trio that churn out a brilliantly aggressive three-throated blackened crust assault. Released by Broken Limbs Records, the split offers a short sharp shock of quality underground filth, and demonstrates just how grimy and raw the hallowed triumvirate of guitar, bass and drums can sound when they come together equally.
Mortals’ contribution to the split comes in the form of ‘10 Years of Filth’, an aptly titled and deliciously grimy 9 minute display of the band’s raspy, riffy and rampant sludge. Everything about the track echoes Mortals’ previous efforts, from the vibrant and energetic drumming to the thundering bass tone and mid-tempo, crusty riffs of Elizabeth Cline. Incorporating everything in the Mortals repertoire throughout the varied and dynamic composition, ’10 Years of Filth’ travels from the bands’ crawling, lecherous pace through rousing tremolo-driven territory and into a riffy, powerful climax. Once again Caryn Havlik’s drumming proves an absolute force, adding atmospheric texture or unbridled aggression at all the perfect moments, and the intro sample is hilariously, brilliantly vintage. A horrible, excellent display of what Mortals are all about.
At the other end of the compositional spectrum, Repellers offer just a couple of minutes extra than Mortals, but over three tracks that veer from clean-guitar driven atmosphere to a raging assault of frantic punkish speed and unpolished crusty attitude. The concoction of almost thrashy, circle-pit inducing riffs with all-out death/punk assault makes for energetic, enjoyable listening, and is delivered with vicious rage that comes through especially in the raspy yet intelligibly spat vocals, revealing a seemingly powerful and personal lyrical slant. While perhaps not as distinctive in sound as their split-mates, Repellers’ portion of the release is packed spirited songwriting and delivery, and proves to be both furiously catchy and a curiosity-peaking indication of what the band may offer on their upcoming full-length debut.