RUM REBELLION / HAMMERED GRUNTS: Pick Yer Poison : Split CD

The world is still safe for spiky kids as long as the mighty Rodent Popsicle Records is still around. These two young Portland bands complement one another nicely. Rum Rebellion is a fast, Dropkick Murphys-inspired hardcore Irish folk punk band and Hammered Grunts play hardcore thrash. Each group covers a song of the other and also delivers five originals. It’s kind of surprising that there aren’t more bands like Rum Rebellion given the popularity of DKM and Flogging Molly, but it’s not a very easy style to pull off. Rum Rebellion manages to do it with as little cheese effect as possible. Hammered Grunts, likewise, stand out in that they have a very specifically late 1980s crossover hardcore feel that isn’t typically replicated these days. We’re talking time capsule material here. It’s hard to imagine Hammered Grunts booking shows on cell phones and the internet instead of via newsprint classifieds.

 –Art Ettinger (Rodent Popsicle)