I’m an Agathocles fanboy #1 : Agathocles / Praparation H split 7″ review

1996.
One year after Razor Sharp Daggers, one before Humarrogance and the same year of Thanks For Your Hostility. Agathocles was surely a band blessed with inspiration that year and they released a shitload of good releases, creating a second golden age after the mighty first years (Agarchy anyone?).  Burt was surely one of the best drummers the Belgian band has ever had, while Matty was another good addition to the band. With these two band mates Jan added a lot of hardcore and crust elements in the Agathocles sound (A For Arrogance, No Use (Hatred) and so on) that will top in the To Serve…To Protect album, but one of the greatest step in this “experimental” travel was surely this split EP.
Cheers Mankind Cheers features four fast and rabid songs by the Belgian godfathers of grind and shows a band in a perfect shape. The cover depicts what it looks like a girl being strangled by a bunch of men, with the logo Xeroxed on it and the title written in small letters in the corner. I’ve always loved these particulars, the way they can make a so easy concept look so cool. I know this statement sounds a little bit fanatic or useless, but is something that really brings a smile to my face. The EP starts with Denying Identity that appears only, if I’m not wrong, in the Culture of Degradation live tape from 1992. This is a classic mid 90’s Agathocles song, so expect a fast and raw screaming part with a more groovy growled bass driven break. It can come straight outta Razor Sharp Daggers. This is nothing special, just plain awesome Agathocles songwriting, in all its simple effectiveness. The double stick snare drumming is as full of ignorance as cool! The second song is the title track and, well, let me say it : this song kicks major ass. Easily one of my top 5 Agathocles songs (among Kill Your Fucking Idols, Sentimental Hypocrisy, An Abstract and Mutilated Regurgitator, just for your info ehehehe), this songs features a killer groovy riff topped by an amazing pounding drumming that makes this simple and straight to the core song a real killer song for live shows. No screaming on this songs, just angry rants and gang vocals, so prepare to sing it loud from the pit! The lyrics are bitter and full of black humor and irony, with an incredible catchy hook. The crust influence is way stronger then before and it’s quite funny, because, even if I don’t usually like so much crust, I fuckin’ love this song. It fits so perfectly in the Agathocles scheme that I can use it to describe their sound. Simple but hooking guitar riffing, pissed off vocals, social message, strong bass sound and blasting drum work. Amazing.
The third song is Earth 2500, a strong noise burst with a less then 20 seconds length. Just some drum bursts and a simple riffing to remind us the on the Earth, in year 2500, there’s No – One, Long – Gone. Agathcoles side ends with Their Excuse, a long (almost 3 minutes!) sludgy track that can be compared with A For Arrogance, just more muddy and sludge oriented. So expect a long, nerve twisting part broken by a fast and blistering short “refrain”. The music reflects perfectly the dark and gloomy lyrics, which deal with nuclear holocaust “to protect our state”. A great way to end this amazing side! I know I’ve sounded a little bit (yeah I know, way more then “a little bit”) like an Agathocles fan boy, but hell, this EP rules so hard! I think Agathocles, even with a lot of style changes, never made a mistake for all the 80’s and a lot of the 90’s and Cheers Mankind Cheers is a great way to explain my ideas.

….

Präparation H is (was? All their websites are not updated at all so I can find anything about their current status..) a very good grind/power violence band from Cincinnati, Ohio, and this was their first output on vinyl. In fact in 1996 they released a great bunch of vinyl, splitting their stuff with Agathocles, Cripple Bastards and Wadge, not bad, isn’t it? Their style is a grinding hardcore, something leaning to the power violence side with a great amount of energy and intense songwriting. Vocals are usually a simple growl, not so original but pretty effective for its purpose. The guitar works is very good with a great bunch of slightly standard but manic riffs, topped with a great bass sound. Talking about bass, sometimes it loses something, like a wrong chord or a bad tempo, like at the beginning of Extreme Noise Sellout (In it for Life?) but that’s nothing too bad. This side deals with Asian movies (hence the title) and features four tracks full of passion and the rabid humor that reeks of Spazz and Charles Bronson. The last song, Sgt Kickass in Patrol, features a great acid screaming, that shakes things up a bit. Präparation H will do a lot of good stuff in the future (especially their split EP with Cripple Bastards, who, by the way, delivered the mighty Sexist Society on their side!) and this split EP with Agathocles was a very good start. Too bad they somehow vanished from the scene, because they were surely a great example of a young grindcore band that could afford a lot of satisfaction in the scene. If you like some Spazz in your mid 90’s grinding style (like Phobia, e.g.) Präparation H was surely a band to look after. Find this split, spin it and drool with amazingness!

more infos here : DISCOGS

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~ by petetheripper on August 30, 2010.

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