Review by Max Renn
I had a chat with Rob Woodcock, the drummer with Prolefeed, while he was performing under his Platemaker guise.
Rob drums, and has drummed in a myriad of local bands, as well as successfully performing solo.
I mentioned that I was never a big fan of hardcore stuff, and that I can find the format a bit rigid and the sound repetitive. Rob argued against this, and during the conversation let slip about this upcoming split release, also featuring Leeds based War All The Time.
Well, what better way to challenge my perceptions? I put my money where my mouth is and bought the record.
The 380g LP jacket, inner, and heavy duty vinyl all scream quality with this release. Striking cover artwork is by Prolefeed bassist Daniel Hughes.
I pop the Prolefeed side on first, and off we go…
The sound to me is pure hardcore, with straight up fast beats and a great buzz saw guitar tone. Vocals are on the higher end of the range and are pleasingly spat with venom.
The songs are all uniformly short, which befits the format, and come rat-a-tat one after the other. Occasionally, the pace does slow down revealing a tasty riff or takes a breather with a ringing buzz saw note.
The listen flies by and it’s soon time to flip to War All The Time.
Again, I’m met with fast beats and shouted vocals, but this is where I take the time to compare each band on the split and pay attention to their nuances. War All The Time have a fuzzier, sludgier tone to the guitar, the vocals are a lot deeper and delivered with a growl that almost strays into a death style of delivery.
The production is thicker and compares and contrasts well with Prolefeeds brighter sound. Again, time is taken to allow a sludgy riff to peek out of the attack, and we have a bit more variety in vocal delivery and phrasing over the 11 tracks.
As I expected, there are a lot of similarities between the bands, but my preconceived notions have been put aside as there is a lot to appreciate here, and the format of delivery helps.
Split releases seem to be a great format for this genre. The shorter nature of the songs means you can pack a lot in to each side and allows the listener to compare shared genre bands and identify what it is they like about each one.
That is something that has definitely allowed me to appreciate each band on its own merits, something I may not have done had each band had a separate release.
An enjoyable listen overall, with both bands bringing their take on the hardcore sound to the table. I’m not sure I could pick a favourite side, but the split as a whole is a great package, especially so if you’re wanting to dip your toe into the hardcore punk pool.
And remember: ‘Play Fast and Don’t Be A Cunt’!