Alphabet Cult / Elephant Rifle - Magnatron / Clones & Clones [2014, self-released]
The first of the two tracks on this split, Alphabet Cult’s “Magnatron” is a blustery piece of noisy rock, riding on waves of surfy thrash and pounding drums as the pop-punky vocals wail along over it all; while it’s over quickly, it’s fun while it lasts.
Elephant Rifle’s contribution, “Clones & Clones”, is a heavier track, sending surges of bassy guitar reverb out and over itself. The shouted vocals are rawer than those of Alphabet Cult, but are deployed with moderation at first before sliding into a buzzy pedal-filtered howl, and things wrap up with some punchy rhythms.
Between the two tracks, this split has a lot of energy. It seems like going with such a short format pushed each of the bands to turn in something of which they could be proud; whether they could have sustained that over four or so songs from each is a mystery, but the rough edges go well with the bands’ attitudes and output.