Hair on My Food
Malaysians Rakus get a relative boost just by sharing a split with South America's Exacerbacion because compared to that band’s grindcore equivalent of elevator music, Rakus sound almost spontaneous. Simply put, neither band is going to jolt you out of your chair, but Rakus, at least, bring a small shot of energy to bear on their half of this split even if “Bush Loves War” is not the most original sentiment two years after the guy left town.
There’s absolutely nothing intrinsically wrong with either band, but I keep yearning for something a little more: a sense of passion, an earworm of a riff, a neck snapping drum fill. Instead, they both seem to go through the motions of banging out blasts and screaming away at the world. It's all so lifeless and uninspired at times I wonder if either band could successfully pass a Voigt-Kampf test.
When Rakus does mix things up, as on “Police Terror” and “P.P.,” even those songs fall into a formula of downbeat opening slowly building to blast-tastic crescendo.
Rakus – “Police Terror”
Exacerbacion’s half of the split is a more bloodless outing with uninspiring blasts, unintelligible riffs and angry Muppet garbling. The songs clank by a like a distant train, smothered by the rickety production. All of the factors that left me feeling restless with Rakus' side - the lack of focus and spontaneity - are just *ahem* exacerbated here. I'll let a lot slide in the name of grind if you've got the intensity to overcome your limitations. Exacerbacion just need to decide whether they're really all that pissed off at all.
Exacerbacion – “Asfixia Colectica”
There could very well be a solid band lurking under this unlistenable murk, but you’d never be able to tell by this split.
[Full disclosure: the label sent me a download.]