SLUDGE / THISCLOSE: Split: 7”

Sludge from Japan play a rather unremarkable style of Burning Spirits style hardcore. The vocals lack any kind of intensity or fury which is typically associated with the style that bands such as Death Side, Forward, Paintbox, and Paranoid have done and are doing so much better. Thisclose are doing the whole “Grave New Beat” thing but also without much variation in style other than the god awful vocal delivery that so many like to call “heavy metal.” Look, you’re not wrong: but you need to actually be somewhat familiar with metal music before you associate Mötley Crüe and Quiet Riot with any band who sings with a high-pitched squeal. Better comparisons would be Mercyful Fate, Helloween, and Trouble. Both bands are pretty generic as far as modern d-beat and hardcore goes and, honestly, I expected better. –Juan Espinosa (SPHC, sphcrecords.bandcamp.com)