Sepsis The Divide EP

Reviewing a record feels a little like dissecting a body at times—well, without the nasty smells and the graceless medical gown you tragically cannot sew patches onto. You first have to gently lay the record on the table and, before proceeding to the actual listening, you have to check and analyze, with medical precision, the visible clues of a given punk subgenre and its signifiers. This particular band is called SEPSIS, a nasty word for infection. They use a hairy font and the EP’s cover displays a gloomy Lovecraftian humanoid creature, drawn in an old-school death metal style, holding in its tentacled paw what looks like an agonizing human head. So yeah, not a skacore band. SEPSIS is from Melbourne/Naarm, and The Divide was released on Hardcore Victim, a brilliant label dealing in quality crasher hardcore noise crust punk. With such scientific observations in mind, I can claim, before even putting the record on the turntable that, congratulations, it is a crust record! And I love a good old-school crust record—no, I crave good old-school metallic crust records, and this band precisely belongs to that school of thought. SEPSIS is an all-female band that works on the classic “DOOM revisiting ANTI-CIMEX in a cave” template, with a revival stenchcore toolbox borrowed from AFTER THE BOMBS and a vibe not dissimilar to that of ARMISTICE. The recording could do with a bit more power, but it is dark, aggressive, and groovy enough to reach a solid level on the international scale of crustness. The shouted vocals are angry but comprehensible (to an extent, we’re not dealing with pop punk here) with an ’00s feel maybe, the guitar has that perfect crunch, and even the creature on the cover feels like a mate after these four songs. Now give us an LP. Ace.