ANS /Seasick - Billy in a Bearsuit split 7"
This is actually the first record that someone has actually sent me and asked me to review! Whoa! Even though I've been trying to keep review to 2008, I'll duck back to 07 to do this one.
ANS kicks off the first side of this split, and I'll be honest, I wasn't blown away initially. There was a very Motorhead heavy rock and roll vibe, which can be cool, but the vocals were beyond muddy, and the first track kinda breezed by without really making much of an impact on me. The second song, "Paging Dr. Shiba" was a little more my speed, and the rock and roll party feel continued through for about a minute and a half with running guitar leads and more clarity to the vocals, although they still had a gruff feel to them. I've seen these guys refered to as "party dudes" and I can see it with this track. At this point, ANS is half and half for me. Seeing a 3 minute closer didn't do much to make me confident, but this half time stomp showed me that they don't always have to go forward full throttle. The singer even aims for a bit more melody. The song speeds up a bit, and doesn't feel bloated at three minutes. I'm not sure that I would give the ANS side of this split too many more spins, but it did exceed my expectations based on the first song.
Seasick is a band that I've been hearing a lot about for the last year, but never really checked out. "Intro(spection)" starts with typical galloping drums and feedback, but kicks in a lot heavier than I really expected. The bass is fuzzy as hell, and little guitar leads fly around in both ears. After a minute, it moves on to the second track which continues the fast, fairly technical hardcore. It's a bit more subdued with a muted verse and a palm muted breakdown, but there's another blazing fast ending, which has some cool guitar sounds and effects. The lyrics are an examination of the scene and how some people use it to push their own agenda. Ending with "your language reflects your recklessness, words qualify as a form of violence so don't expect others to be as patient" seems a bit wordy, but is worked in well. Nice stuff. The last track is another one under a minute that flies by before you realize. The ending is fast as hell and contains a quick gang vocal line of "Never trust the fucking cops" I believe, and ends with "Politics and power don't mix."
As far as splits go, this one is really no different - one band I really like and would listen to again, and another that I'm not overly thrilled with. Seasick seems like an awesome band that I would like to catch live, but ANS, while good at what they do, aren't particularly my thing. Check out their other records through Braindrain (as well as Lighten Up and Braindead releases!), who are good people, and offer free digital downloads with any record purchases. Swish!