Who'd have thought, that out of everywhere in the world, Yorkshire would be such a hotbed for great new music? As this limited EP release shows us, somebody must be putting something in the water up there. Released to coincide with Record Store Day (and limited to a mere 300 vinyl copies, but with a digital release also forthcoming), this EP showcases some of the best that the Brew and Dance to the Radio labels have to offer.
It kicks off with Escape by Dolphins, a cacophonous 2 minute blast of sludgy punk-metal, kind of like The Melvins trading riffs with Black Flag. It is punishing stuff, much like the rest of the EP, but would you have it any other way?
Next up is Blacklisters, setting up stall with an ear splitting scream before dissonant guitars take centre stage for the 'quieter' verses, before the screaming starts again. Every time the track slows down you just know it's going to explode again at some point, and explode it does. Mental.
Castrovalva are something else entrirely, mixing ridiculous falsetto vocals with a riff that could've come straight from CKY's back catalogue, before giving way to synths and rap vocals. It is a weird mix, and obviously an acquired taste, but you've got to admire a band who are willing to push the boundaries and try something new.
Closing the EP in a typically twisted fashion are Hawk Eyes (formerly Chickenhawk) with Yes, Have Some, their first new music since their name change and the impressively brutal Modern Bodies album. If you liked that album, this is very much business as usual.
It would be interesting if, in years to come, this Brew/DTTR EP is looked back on in the same way as Sub Pop's Deep Six compilation album, as the origins of a group of bands who go on to influence the direction of modern hard rock and metal music. And there's no reason it shouldn't. All four of these bands in their own ways are great and deserve all of the success that comes their way, although if you are of a nervous disposition, it might be best to give this one a miss.