Usnea - Ruins - Split - 7

Labels: Halo Of Flies – Twisted Chords
Review by: Emile Bojesen

After the initial confusion at this Ruins not the being the absolutely stellar Japanese band this is actually pretty satisfying in its range. This Ruins are from Bielefeld in Germany and while they correctly situate themselves in the realms of crusty d beat there are also elements of doomy hardcore more common to mid period Breach. The middle of their only (six minute) song on the split even drifts towards a kind of really ace sounding crusty pop punk, although quickly switching back to something much more menacing and uncomfortable. It’s a good song, a lot going on, perfectly suited for a split like this.

Portland, Oregon’s Usnea provide a much slower and less schizophrenic offering. The progressions seem a little more natural than those on the Ruins track but are not uninteresting. They speed up, a little, and then slow down, a lot. The screechy vocals in the last phase of the song give it a much nastier edge which brings up memories of how terrifying Khanate were. I think they could quite happily and gratifyingly have dragged out the ideas within this song for another ten minutes. It’s no surprise that their first LP only had four songs on it.

Overall a nice little injection of good songwriting and measured nastiness.