In May 1940, Ramon Mercader took an ice-pick to the brainpipe of Leon Trotsky. It took Trotsky a day or so to finally succumb to his wounds. I mention this only because the squall of venomous feedback which opens this record is the sort of aural assault I would expect to hear spasming inside my skull as I thrashed around upon a Mexican hospital bed waiting for the blessed release of death after being on the receiving end of a devastating cranial trauma. Let me make this abundantly clear: this is a good thing.
London’s Silent Front plough a fiercely DIY furrow. Here they present two slices of visceral brutality. ‘Tactic A’ is three and a half minutes of menacing, meat-flavoured riffs gaffer-taped to desperate howled vocals. Primal scream therapy delivered down a child’s crudely rendered yoghurt-pot and string telephone. Joyous. They jerk epileptically through tempo changes before it grinds to a sweat-sodden halt.
On ‘Plunder’ the bass pulses with brooding purpose and is punctuated with bursts of perforated ear drum frenzy. It radiates energy. It is impossible to listen to without clenching your jaw tight enough to crack teeth. This is music to whiten the knuckles.
The flip side of this split 10” consists of ‘Molasses for the Masses’ an eight minute atmospheric opus from the fantastically monikered A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen, whose various members hail from all over the globe. It kicks off with some brownsound bass buzz. For the next couple of minutes it creeps under your skin, demented kewpie doll screeches underneath the disconcerting sound of a tap dripping in a deserted bathroom. For three minutes I am intrigued, and then it goes and spoils it by taking a bit of a turn towards self-indulgent noodling. I am left feeling cold and betrayed. Just as I am about to give up it takes another sharp turn. We end with discordant guitars, an inebriated Zebedee from the Magic Roundabout gibbering in the background and something that sounds like Satan’s pogo-stick bouncing on faces of the damned. In all an epic nigh-instrumental schizophrenic cocktail, that, by my calculations is 68% wonderful.