I was relieved to find out that Black SS stands for Black Sheep Squadron, and not some Nazi organization, upon receiving this record. The cover art for one side of the split featured a fearsome black widow spider, so for all I knew, I was about to hear some intense hate anthems. Instead, what I got was some intense hardcore punk with a very rough, raw sound. It's well played and true to itself, and includes a Ramones cover ("Teenage Lobotomy", which they do justice to pretty well) just to round things off. Just like the other side of the split, this features a track against posing scenesters, appropriately titled "Who Needs You", and the anger is palpable.
Chicago's Raining Bricks, on the other hand, were less of a hardcore attack but still a sloppy but heartfelt assault on the ears. Featuring former members of Plan of Attack (but sounding "pretty much nothing like that band" according to the press sheet), they play quick and raw punk with a very rough round the edges feel. Vocals are handled by Carson Action, whose often unintelligible bawling works well alongside the tinny recording and DIY feel. The first track of the three they offer, "Brains on Vacation", is an aggressive street punk-like venture, while the second one, "Mallocaust", is an AC/DC like anthem against the Myspace generation overflowing the scene of late. Track three, "Taken for a Ride", doesn't have lyrics in the liner notes, so I'm assuming it's a cover, although I have no idea who of. It's more melodic than the other two and slightly slower paced in comparison to the others.
For a split whose total running time doesn't exceed 10 minutes, it's hard to say much more. Both bands play with a bleeding-edge punk sound that's unspoiled by overproduction or lack of sincerity, and anyone into stuff like Kill Your Idols, Black Flag, Slapshot or even AC/DC type rock should check this out.
6.7 / 10
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