In addition to being thoroughly entertaining on their very own, the Socially Retarded
side of this little split also perfectly illustrates the musical growth of their fellow peers from Chicago, Sea Of Shit
. Both bands present their own takes on the powerviolence genre, nicely complementing each other in the process. The one-two punch of ‘Anxiety’ and ‘Lower Management’ opens the Socially Retarded side where Sea Of Shit’s demo left off: an abundance of speed, energy and a rich dose of filthiness. ‘Mindless’, on the other hand, sees Sea Of Shit countering with a slightly altered style, both in terms of riffing and in the vocal department, as the song sweeps away the layers of guitar feedback with an insanely pummeling, pit-opening riff accompanied by stronger and incredibly muffled vocals. The song introduces a slightly different band than we got to know a year ago; this time around, Sea Of Shit sound a lot more focused, heavier and more calculated, while still retaining the aggressiveness that tore apart their demo. Sure, ‘Left to Rot’ speeds things up a little with Sea Of Shit’s trademark grinding hardcore, but only after their now defunct brothers drown the listener in murky sludge in the form of the power electronics-tinged ‘Green Eyes’ and ‘No Date, Day Without a Date’. And whereas Socially Retarded wrap up their side with a rather by-the-books powerviolence number in ‘Apt.26’, Sea Of Shit close the split with their possibly best song to date that demonstrates what happens if you give the band more room to breathe. The title track, clocking in at monstrous (by the band’s standards) three and a half minutes, is a journey through filthy sludge, blistering grindviolence and unhinged, hard-hitting hardcore, ending the split on a high note and hinting at Sea Of Shit’s more refined sound in the future. Don’t sleep on this.