X =: 5 Walls: LP + CS

X = (or X Equals, not quite sure) from Pennsylvania drum up a bevy of influences, although none of them are math metal or metallic hardcore as the artwork suggests. The first song kicks it into top gear, bringing to mind the dearly missed Government Warning, then quickly eases things into a more subdued yet still hardcore pace, much like California central coast veterans Agression and RKL. There’s also a bit of a darker side explored, crossing post-punk and hardcore streams (the Estranged, Nervosas, et cetera). My earliest impression was that of a wanna-be Off!/Flag band but I’ll admit these songs have grown on me since and new layers are revealed with repeated listens. The vinyl comes housed in a DIY spray paint and silk screened cover with an extensive screen printed lyric book and obi strip. This was given to me for review along with a separate cassette with equally as elaborate packaging: a custom made tri-panel cassingle sleeve held together with two nuts and bolts through the tape reels. These tracks appear to be demos but are strictly for reference, as the LP tracks are the ones you want to listen to. –Juan Espinosa (Self-released, [email protected], exequals.bandcamp.com)