ANTI-SOCIAL / THE HAS BEENS: Split: 7” EP

Anti-Social: Full disclosure, here: Montebello’s Anti-Social are familia. Not only do I consider them friends, they were part of the same small cluster of mid-’80s ELA backyard bands that spawned this scribe, they’re one of the very select few of us to release anything on vinyl and, three-and-a-half decades down the road, they are still slugging it out in the trenches. Those reasons alone are enough to earn my utmost respect, but add the fact that they’re still one helluva band and you have yourselves a party, kids. Here ye get three new recordings of two older tunes and one of more recent vintage that gallop along at a good clip, keep themselves well entrenched within hardcore’s parameters, yet maintain a melodicism at their base. The songs come and go way too soon, which is more reason to supplement this with their most recent LP, Life Long Addictions, and to see them live. Has Beens: the large-brushstroke description of their work here would read the same as their record mates—firmly rooted in hardcore while keeping a melodic sense to the proceedings. Closer examination, however, shows a bit more in the details: they move largely at a much zippier clip, a sense of humor is more in evidence, and they’ve got a drummer who contributes heftily to their personality. Tight and precise, they handily hold their own on this split, making for a good listen throughout. –Jimmy Alvarado (Jerk Off, jerkoffrecords.com)