Exhumed / Iron Reagan - Split

(Split, Tankcrimes Records, 2014)

There is absolutely no way for a split release to fail and the reason is quite simple; it contains right on the point songs without any fillers. The bands involved have to make the most of the short time given so the music is always pedal to the Metal. And let’s not forget the beauty of all those splits that look and sound extremely cool being in the only format that respects music; vinyl. The 12” split in question is dipped in high-octane fuel that burns non-stop in the EXHUMED and IRON REAGAN cylinders. Forget about the fancy 4 or 6 cylinder engines because this one keeps the RPMS always on the red zone...

Side A opens the Hardcore/Thrash festivities with “Gravewalker” and the trademark for this sound-distorted bass before passing the baton to the down-tuned riff and Bud Burke’s vein popping singing. The Grindcore side of EXHUMED deals with almost growling vocals and the OBITUARY sounding riff-action that is perfect for mosh-pitting, especially during the guitar solo. “Dead To The World” keeps up the headbanging mood with some EXODUS-inspired Thrash (love the high-hat sound) and then gets once-again more violent after another guitar solo. Hardcore would be nothing if there weren’t those Punk-based bands pushing the envelope with all those anti-social and rebellious lyrics, so EXHUMED pay tribute to this short-lived scene with two covers; one on MINOR THREAT’s “Seeing Red” and the second on NEGATIVE APPROACH’s “Ready To Fight”. Without changing much, EXHUMED added their style making this tracks sound heavier pushed by the growling and the full-distorted riff work.

Many say that Hardcore is a dead genre but this is not true; ok, probably there is nothing new to play or there is no way to sound diverse, but at the same time if a band does it the right way, then it’s a guarantee to have tons of violent fun in a live concert. And IRON REAGAN falls right into this profile, doing justice to the Hardcore scene with the short but most effective songs. So, the four original tracks will grab you by the neck and will not let it go until the last bomb (song) has been dropped. The snare drum action of the Side B opener “Life Beater” showcases some early Thrash virtues along with the fast chords and the scream on top of my lungs singing by Tony Foresta who looks as crazy as he sounds. Hardcore and bass go hand-in-hand, so “Gave Up On Giving A Fuck” will show to the newbies how this is done in a slightly slower tempo. My Side B favorite is “Mini Lights” that has some awesome guitar leads, pushing the sound towards to the early Bay Area Thrash and yourself to the nearest mosh-pit. This side ends with “Holy Water Makes Me Wet” that aside from the interesting title and lyrics, follows the killer Hardcore/Punk recipe mixing simple yet most effective guitar chord changes and powerful headbanging breaks in the vein of the almighty D.R.I..

I think I said too much for this split, but the truth is I enjoyed so much that I could not stop typing. And this will also happen to you if you choose to attend one of these bands' shows but remember to change the term ‘typing’ with either ‘headbanging’ or ‘moshing’. Remember that this is a vinyl-only release, so get one before they are all gone.






01. Gravewalker
02. Dead To The World
03. Seeing Red
04. Ready To Fight

01. Life Beater
02. Gave Up On Giving A Fuck
03. Mini Lights
04. Holy Water Makes Me Wet


Rob Babcock - Bass, Backing Vocals
Matt Harvey - Vocals, Guitar
Bud Burke - Bass, Vocals, Lead Guitar
Mike Hamilton - Drums

Rob Skotis - Bass
Ryan Parrish - Drums
Landphil Hall - Guitar
Mark Bronzino - Guitar
Tony Foresta - Vocals