The Punk Vault

Hellmouth/Explode and Make Up split 7″

A solid split featuring one band of crunchy and melodic punk and another with a more aggressive and slightly metallic hardcore.
Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Hellmouth/Explode and Make Up – Split 7″
Underground Communique Records

Explode and Make Up is a hard-edged Chicago punk rock band who have been around for a little while now and have been making a good name for themselves with their energetic live performances. They deliver two solid songs on their half of this split single. Both songs feature thick and loud guitars that really pack a punch that drives their brand of hard melodic punk. They have an early Dag Nasty influence in the sound on this record which is a very good thing.  Think of a more punchy and energetic Can I Say and you will understand what I’m talking about. There is one original song and one Husker Du cover of “Crystal” which was done enough in the band’s own style that I didn’t even catch that it was a cover upon the first spin. Normally I’m against such practices but these guys actually pull it off. Their side of this single is worth the purchase price alone.

Hellmouth are a much different style of band. They are about 100 decibels louder and have a more metallic slant to their guitars. Their singer is much more of a growler/yeller too and overall they have a much more aggressive and “tougher” sound. Their original song is a solid and powerful song. Their other song is a cover of Agent Orange’s, “Bloodstains” and while they tried to make it fit into their style of music with their sound, it just doesn’t really work for me and is a prime example of why new punk bands should not be covering classic punk songs.

The record comes on black vinyl and there may have been a colored version as well. It is housed in a folded sleeve that is printed on a nice cardstock. Inside the sleeve is the lyrics and credits as well as a download code for the mp3s of the record which was a really nice addition.

Three out of four songs absolutely warrant the low-cost of owning this 7″ single however and new Explode and Make Up material is always a good thing so I can easily give this split single my stamp of approval and can tell you that it’s a worthy investment of your time and money to secure a copy.


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