Review: Needful Things / Overviolence Split (Nerve Altar, Apr 11)

On this short 7-inch split from New York hardcore label Nerve Altar, both bands present four minutes of pulverizing grind-violence. Czech shredders Needful Things’ tracks are longer and more varied, alternating between driving d-beat crust punk and exhilarating blast sections. The songwriting is impeccable, something that isn’t necessary in this type of music but is very welcome nonetheless; from the cascading riffs to the brief flashes of silent anticipation before the chaos on “Hands Full of Sludge,” each track is memorable and powerful on its own. By contrast, Overviolence’s side is made up of much shorter, more direct assaults. The dual vocals between members Esse and Henke are a major highlight. I’m not sure who does the throaty growls and who shrieks, but the presence of both really helps the songs carry even more weight. Look no further than final track “Plockas och Krossas” for an example of Overviolence’s kickassery; the chants of both vocalists belting the titular phrase atop furious drumming and guitar work make it some of the most fulfilling 25 seconds in recent memory.

This is a reissue of the original release; the physical edition is available here. Make sure to check out the upcoming split LP between Water Torture and Stimulant, also on Nerve Altar – it’s going to be amazing.