It’s difficult to see how anything good came out of the Covid pandemic; apart that is from what seems to be a surfeit of punk and hardcore bands, fueled with rage at the incompetence of the most cack-handed government the UK has ever seen, and who have had plenty of time to hone their chops and write some outstanding songs.
At the top of the (dog)pile are Weston-Super-Mare four piece Split Dogs who have very quickly garnered a reputation for outstanding and energetic live performances with a strong set of songs to back it up. Opening track ‘Gutter Ball’ sets the standard; a feral, snarling vocal courtesy of Harry Martinez whose voice sits somewhere between an angry Hazel O’Connor and Polly Styrene. Harry’s vocals perfectly suit the band’s pacy and aggressive style of punk rock which nevertheless retains a good dint of melody.
It’s all over in minutes and so it goes for another 9 tracks culminating in my personal favourite, and traditional set closer, the fitting barnstormer ‘Tear Down The House’. Lyrics are more personal/social commentary than out and out political statements with the story of loan shark ‘Big Fred’ being particularly relevant in Austerity UK. This is one of those albums where I guarantee the first thing you will want to do when it ends is stick it on again for another play. Top notch. Ian Pickens