A horrible hack

Shokei - The Falcon Five - Kids Explode - Pete the Pirate Squid


Year Released: 2008
Format: 12" EP
Label: altinvillageandmine
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Aug 28, 2008
This release sees four German acts buddying up and testing the question as to when a split stops being a split and in fact becomes a comp. Cheeky. Shokei are up first, belting out of the traps with some feisty indiemo that immediately dispels any prejudice I may’ve harboured on account of their Metallica-jocking song titles. “Kill The Lightning” is a rowdy number somewhere between Braid and the Van Pelt, full of sharp-edged chords, hollered vocals and a nice little harmonic moment while “Ride ‘Em All” has the loping gait of a Repeater-era Fugazi track lurking amongst its tremolo-picked octaves. The Falcon Five follow up with some frothy dance punk, full of nice little melodic guitar licks and a jubilant, fun-loving energy that mingles the immaculate smarts of Supersystem with the unhinged sugar rush of Rapider Than Horsepower to an extent where you can even forgive their strange tip of the cap to Rage Against The Machine. Onto the second side and Kids Explode break the record’s pattern by belting out three songs rather than two, all of which are constructed from brittle guitar parts that lend them a sound not a million miles away from fellow European Van Pelt fetishists Reiziger. “Ask Me,” with its spiffy staccato riff and Braidish backup hollers probably wins out, but to tell the truth their trio of songs are all rather fine indeed. The atrociously-named Pete The Pirate Squid finish the whole thing off and start with the outing’s first and last dud, “21, 23” being a thrown-together jumble of ideas that doesn’t really stick, a mess of fiddly twiddlemo with boy/girl vocals that chops and changes without ever mustering the force it needs. Thankfully “Close-Knit, Great Fit” is far more satisfactory, the ideas better honed and the band coming across almost like Former Members Of Alfonsin may have if they’d grown up on bands like Pogoh and Shroomunion rather than proper hardcore. All in all, a bloody good effort!

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