Picks: Splintered, Iron Reagan, The Menzingers

It’s time once again for our three recommended new releases from the world of rock, punk, metal and hardcore. We’ve gone for a range of styles this week, and we have two bonus choices that add to its span. If it’s Siouxsie-worship jangly goth you want, Votive Offering by Cardiff’s Artefact will scratch your itch. Aborym’s Shifting.Negative is brimming with Nine Inch Nails influence.

Splintered
Social Unrest
Self-released
[Bandcamp]

Rebooted Birmingham crossover crew Splintered have delivered a thudding introduction with this new EP, a blisteringly aggressive collection that fuses punk with metal in the most satisfyingly harsh way imaginable. The riffing is demonic, the beatdowns masterfully constructed for maximum mosh impact. Thrash metal influence is laced throughout this tidy little slab of Second City Hardcore, and the five short songs are infectious. ‘The Iron Lady Pt.II’ is the immediate stand-out, but the fact is Social Unrest just rips from start to finish. It’s over very quickly. Too quickly, if you ask us. The Tongue is dead. Long live Splintered.

Iron Reagan
Crossover Ministry
Relapse Records
[Spotify]

Tony Foresta. Landphil. These are names that will be familiar to fans of modern thrash metal. Their day job is with the legendary Municipal Waste, where Iron Reagan guitarist Landphil plays drums. Thematically, Iron Reagan is more sociopolitical. Sonically, Reagan and the Waste are identical twins. The differences are cosmetic strides towards crossover but the DNA is the same. Reagan’s third album is the same as the first two, and everything by Municipal Waste: loud, fast, tight and vitriolic. Simply put, Crossover Ministry is a predictably brilliant bag of crossover ragers with catchy riffs and teeth like razorblades.

The Menzingers
After The Party
Epitaph
[Spotify]

This shit is infectious. I-N-F-E-C-T-I…-O-U-S. Make no mistake, After The Party should be too straight rock, too pleasant, just plain too damn American for my tastes. But the new album from The Menzingers is just addictive. It’s hooky beyond belief, the choruses are undeniable and the standard never once dips below excellence. Not bad for a 44-minute record. As an ode to one’s twenties in the rearview, I must admit it doesn’t quite connect with me. As a suite of fabulous poppy rock songs with a big slice of punk sitting right in its middle, you’ll go a long way to find anything better this year.

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