It’s just as well that you don’t have to pay a toll on the Severn Bridge anymore, because El Chapo and Not Since The Accident would be stone broke. With members of each hailing from both Bristol and Cardiff, all Anglo-Welsh beef has been put to one side to bring us El Accidente, a split E.P featuring new material from both bands. The best thing about El Accidente is that these bands are polar opposites in style, yet there is common bond and respect between them that is sadly missing all too often in hardcore and punk at the moment.
First into the fray are punks Not Since The Accident kicking off with Keep Moving, an energetic number, sure to keep the circle pits on their toes. They back that up with the awesome Fallen Idols a mid-tempo number with a sing along chorus, bringing to mind …And Out Come The Wolves era Rancid. Witch Hunt keeps the energy levels up, with its raucous chorus, before Burial rounds the first side off nicely with yet another catchy chorus. If Tim Armstrong sung for Pennywise, they may turn out like Not Since The Accident. One listen and you’ll be humming these songs for hours after.
A quick flip of the tape and it’s time for the thoroughly impressive El Chapo. A nice slice of mariachi music, with squealing feedback heralds the entrance of Resist before a mighty slab of sludge/doom caves your head in. El Chapo have a handy knack of locking in a groove, before taking you to the dancefloor to join in with the rest of the crowd killers and Resist is no different. With a beautifully distorted Eyehategod style bass line bringing it in, shared vocals, and a riff that gradually increases in tempo before dropping again you’ll be begging for more Sludge Cake. The wonderfully titled Tarot Card Spells Death, brings things to a crushing crescendo with a riff that Matt Pike would be proud of taking up the majority of the track combined with a bass vocal trade off, before the final bludgeoning of the end riff puts you out of your misery.
Two very different bands, Not Since The Accident and El Chapo have put together a package that fans of punk, hardcore, sludge, doom can all take something from. Not Since The Accident are the boisterous punk band that are currently missing from your life, while very few in South Wales, or Bristol for that matter, go as hard as El Chapo. Do yourself a favour, buy this immediately ….Chris Andrews