A horrible hack

Battleship - Necking


Year Released: 2008
Format: 7"
Label: self released
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on Sep 26, 2009
I rarely buy records these days without having listened to at least some of the songs first, but I decided to take a chance with this split. I am a fan of Battleship's previous work, particularly their 2006 album 'Hearts Addendum'. On that they play snarling and noisy hardcore with a really distingishing guitar sound and vocals. I saw them play in Cardiff that year with Racebannon and Night And The City and they really impressed me. The music was good and the performance itself was really lively and enjoyable. I read a hilarious review on Heathen Harvest which slated the album by the way, describing it as "horrible production, horribly written music, horrible vocals", with the reviewer "want[ing] to be reimbursed for the piece of [their] soul that [they] felt die within the first 30 seconds of the first track". I love the first track. I guess that's hardcore for you, if you are into it it can sound like pure genius, if you're not then it just sounds painful.

Battleship have a few other records out: a debut album 'Presents Princess' and a 7'' entitled 'To Give Not A Gift'. It turns out that this split is their last release, coming out in 2008 before the band went on "permanent hiatus". On it they play one song of hardcore that is even more noisy and experimental than before. The bass is the main instigator of the noise, playing a short repeated riff throughout. The drums too play the same notes over and over for the most part. The guitar is then left to add some variance which it does to great effect, also adding noise like effects at times, whilst the vocals are quite low down in the mix but again sounding pretty distinguishing and contributing significantly to making this a really great song. I find that the band sound a little samey over the course of an album so are probably more suited to 7''s. However, this is all over a little quickly. It's the shame they have split up as I find this new approach very interesting and would loved to have heard more. Hopefully members will go on to form future projects of interest.

I had not heard of Necking previously so had no idea what to expect. Should have got a clue from the fact that they are on a split with Battleship though, no normal band is gonna agree to that. What we get is something extremely bizarre but brilliant. A short drum intro with layered ambient noise (sounding a little like a part of a Neutral Milk Hotel song from their first album) fades out and is then followed by lo-fi instruments barely scraping together to form musical content whilst a vocalist repeatedly shouts out 'Ta ta ta taka taka taka taka taka taka taka taka taka taka...', and so on. Yes I'm pretty sure those are the lyrics. It's quite amazing in my opinion, a melodic mess that just about holds itself together. The song finishes and a short outro fills up the remainder of the record, sounding like Kraftwerk when they get slightly annoyed.

The split comes in a simple screen printed sleeve with no inserts or words at all except for the bands' names and I have no idea what the song titles are. I can only presume it's self released. Overall, if like the idea of Arab On Radar crossed with Odd Clouds playing harsher sounding music then check this split out. I doubt the guy from Heathen Harvest will pick it up but for me personally I really want to get into more bands like this.

26th September 2009

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