Album Review: Aaagh! Cobras!/My Catalyst - 'Split EP'

26 February 2012 | 1:56 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Adelaide hardcore punk's best of.

Having two of Adelaide's finest hardcore punk acts join forces for a split EP seems like a no brainer, especially when the two bands are super friends Aaagh! Cobras! and My Catalyst. For the Cobras, this is their first proper release, not taking into account their short demo which gained a healthy dose of Triple J airtime. My Catalyst are following up their debut full length, 'Once Jesters Now Kings' and their ever so controversial video for a cover of Seal's Kiss From A Rose (controversial only if you are a stuck up jerk who has no sense of humour).

For the sake of the alphabet we'll begin by analysing the Aaagh! Cobras! tracks. Immediately it is clear that this is the best quality in which you have ever heard the Cobras, as opening track James Dean explodes with a wall of guitars and screams. It is hard to tell where vocalists Alex Yap and Will Oakeshott end and begin as they seamlessly forge their vocal assault.

The band are relentless as the track count clicks over to Sunglasses, a song which sounds reminiscent of the tracks on the band's demo, making it the least exciting of the three. When compared to the other Cobra offerings, which show a more mature sense of songwriting, Sunglasses waivers slightly, with the exception of the song's two minute mark which is one of the coolest things the band have ever done.

The final Cobras track, Ruckus, is not only their longest, but the most interesting. The lo-fi riff breaks, the stab guitar/vocal attacks and the all round intensity make this a stand out of the whole EP.

My Catalyst step up to the plate with Stagnant, picking up where their full length left off, harsh, aggressive verse lines which open up into a clean sung, soaring chorus, with some gang vocals for good measure. It is clear that the band have become a much tighter unit in the downtime between releases in the opening of Gee Whizz!!! which contains some of the finest guitar riffage on the entire EP.

With both bands opting to save the best to last, Catalyst finish things off with The Endless Disconnect, a track that elevates them to a new level, with an opening influenced by bands such as Defeater and La Dispute, the clean chorus lines are spacious and the song's dynamics as a whole make this one of the group's finest moments to date.

It is a wonder why we don't see a lot more split releases from local bands, as they work well to introduce the groups and audiences to something new. In this particular case both Aaagh! Cobras! and My Catalyst have brought their A-games, offering up some great tracks which give a nice little hint at what to expect from both bands in the future.

Aaagh! Cobras

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1. James Dean

2. Sunglasses

3. Ruckus

My Catalyst

1. Stagnant

2. Gee Whizz!!!

3. The Endless Disconnect