Meltdown Records - 3 Way Split

Thanks to Chris and Tracie from Meltdown for the copy of this CD. Three punk bands blitz their way through thirteen tracks in a shade over 31 minutes. The first band to start the bludgeoning are...

Assert serve up five short, punchy tracks which are all phenomenally fast. There's elements of traditional punk and hardcore with some truly brutal breakdowns thrown in. Vocals are suitably aggressive yet understandable, so no need for a lyric sheet here. I can certainly vouch for their live abilities too with Britt being a superb frontman, Frank has got to be the fastest single pedal drummer you will ever hear, and the two guitarists contribute to a very full sound. Which makes the production or mastering all the more difficult to fathom as it's painfully thin. This could have been skull-crushing but even when cranked right up it doesn't quite hit the spot. Disappointing because the tracks on offer are all vicious (for completists they are “Anti-Nazi (Or Apologist)”, “Landfill Site”, “Clampdown”, “Scenester Wanker” and “Anarchy (3 Meals From)”. Can't fault the content, end product isn't quite right though.

Indecent Assault are a three piece band who have four longer songs on their section. The only band on the CD I haven't seen live, I think I need to rectify this quickly. The production is far better for starters , so remember to turn this down unless you want one hell of a shock! This sounds like a throwback album from the late seventies with its traditional punk leanings. Big sound for a three piece, they are tight musically with a great guitar tone and aggressive yet comprehensible vocals. “A Free Country” and “Breeding Ground” precede “Tomorrow's War” with it's pedal board altered guitar and questionable lyrical content, before “Children Of The 331” returns us to more familiar territory to close. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Which leaves Rotunda to complete the onslaught. Again traditional punk, they do however include two quality breakdowns on their four tracks. Not much to add really apart from the fact that the production is again a bit thin, but it's still better than Assert's. Fast and furious there's really no let up; “Watching Me”, “Punk Rock Elite”, “Out Of Time” and “Ten Years On” are all well delivered and a fitting way to complete the CD. Great live band too! Speaking of the live circuit I bump into their bass player Dave almost as much as the guys from Hellfire at gigs around the Midlands – fair play fella!

To summarise the CD overall I'd say this is a great showcase for three bands who play punk really well. Assert's production is disappointing otherwise it's a welcome change to hear this level of speed and aggression and be able to understand the vocalist! And there's no constant blastbeating either! If you like late seventies or early eighties punk, or hardcore, then this is well worth checking out.



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