I’ve always been a firm believer that every music fan, no matter how new or old, recent or esteemed, should take the time to dive into offerings from their local scene. As big of a “duh” moment as this may seem, I still think it bears repeating—in today’s fast-moving music industry, where bands are often competing for the attention of so many music-hungry individuals, locals can often be overlooked and underappreciated by so many in an attempt to get in on what’s exciting, new and currently grabbing everyone’s attention.
That being said, every so often I find myself finding a local act currently making waves in their respective genre—that distinction goes to the pair of hardcore punk acts Nuclear Moms of Columbus, Ohio, and Grey Matter of Lansing, Michigan. Joining forces for a four-track split that can only be described as a bonafide adrenaline rush, the two make an excellent impression on their Rad Dads label appearance.
Grey Matter kicks their side off with “Knots,” a chaotic, keyboard-infused apocalypse of a song, beginning the release in tremendous fashion. Vocalist Mack Doyle channels the likes of Lee Spielman (Trash Talk) in his delivery, while the music is reminiscent of a cross between reliable ska-punk act the Suicide Machines and the abrasive edge of veteran bands like Smut Peddlers, with a bit of a kick. While the keyboards don’t mesh up quite perfectly in the track’s beginning, the band still manages to find their footing near the song’s eerily creepy instrumental closer. “Permafrost,” the act’s other offering, is a much more disjointed track, but in a way that shows off the band’s versatility and frenzied nature—a style the suits the band’s ambition and creativity well quite well.
Nuclear Moms’ side is much more straightforward. With a pair of songs clocking in at less than four minutes combined, the punk trio kicks off their side with “RatBlood,” screeching lyrics at an incomprehensible yet spirited fashion that fits the hectic style of the track quite well. “Wrathbone” fits in the same mold, only with some spoken sections of the track that strike a similar chord to Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized” at times. While I wish Nuclear Moms’ flair led to a more hard-hitting lyrical impact, it’s clear they’re putting their grit and passion into every decision they make—all the more reason to give the record a listen.
For anyone looking for short-and-sweet hardcore punk split, Grey Matter and Nuclear Moms’ offering is definitely worth a listen. As far as first impressions go, the pair undoubtedly goes the extra mile to give it their all.