Choke / Döpemess split cassette

Music aside for a second—maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I don’t understand why each half of this split is being hosted on two separate Bandcamp pages. I’m aware that this is first and foremost a cassette release, but the majority of the folks who will be listening to this will be doing so digitally. I feel like it would make more sense having it all in one place. Regardless, it’s a pretty groovy split. Both bands sound different enough for it to be interesting. As a two-piece, DÖPEMESS does a fantastic job filling any and all gaps. Drums are incredible and never waver. Fast as all hell. Dual vocals give the tracks a real call-and-response vibe. CHOKE is much more slow and low, reminiscent of SPAZZ and CAPTAIN THREE LEG-styled powerviolence with their barking vocals. Drums sound almost impossibly fast at times. Comes complete with samples that are almost longer than the song. Good shit.

Choke / XGrifoX split cassette

Yoooooo—where the fukk did this come from!? CHOKE fukkn explodes with three pieces of churning, anti-pig grindcore. I picture a room full of people chanting “defund the police,” and it gives me chills because in that moment, you know that room feels like change is actually possible. And that, young punk, is the fucking power. XGRIFOX fills their side of the tape with ruthless PV/grind from the GODSTOMPER school. Just one dude named “El Grande” beating the shit out of a bass and a drum kit and trading high/low vocals with himself. Sounds like it was recorded in a tin shed in the backyard—and if you know what’s up, then you know that’s precisely how it’s supposed to sound. Got my ass handed to me with this one, and I’m anxious to hear more from both bands.

Choke It’s Hard to Talk Shit With No Fucking Teeth cassette

This is insane, clobbering, grinding hardcore chock full of samples and breakdowns. Crucially intimidating HXC from Oakland killing it on the blasts and mic. Recalling MERAUDER, KRUELTY, NEGLECT, DMIZE, OUT OF LINE, and INFEST…slam your head to this whirlwind of thrash and anthemic powerviolence. The rage really comes forth in “Blue Lives Don’t Mean Shit” (true) and “Talk Shit, Get Hit.” They even got Greta Thunberg’s infamous maddening distraught public statement on here, and covers of APARTMENT 213 and MADBALL! I don’t always go in for this style of hardcore, but holy shit, is this great. Rhythms are harsh as hell, surprising change-ups, inspired lyrics, and the message is clear. Various vocalists guest-spot on this tape. “You Suffer and React” (the song by the band) style jams on here with the five-second “You Failed, Now Die.” Yes, super fucking clear; like I said. And some slower beatdowns like “Why Should I Fear Death When I’m Already Dead Inside?” Valid. CHOKE sounds like a truly dedicated family member of hardcore. CHOKE will get a hold of your neck and mind. This is a fantastic tape for the assertion of contemporary punk grind and hardcore music.