The Complicators/ Empire Down – Split 7″ (Pirates Press)

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This bout definitely falls into the heavyweight category as these two hardcore-meets-streetpunk bruisers compete for the turntable belt on this split 7″.

In the Bay Area corner we have The Complicators, who previously made a strong impression with a debut 7″ also for Pirates Press. Their two songs follow in the vein of that record, mid-paced stompers that owe as much to Negative Approach or Kill Your Idols as they do Anti Heros, Bonecrusher or any other punk band you could mention. Bouncing tunes with a solid upbeat rhythm section and tough as nails barked vocals. A strong uppercut and speedy jabs are the ones to watch out for.

Over in the Minnesota corner we have Empire Down, whose debuted earlier this year with a 7″ on Oi! The Boat records. Likewise they contribute two songs that blur the boundaries of hardcore and punk just how I like it. You know when bands like Sick Of It All or Slapshot bang out a mid-paced stomper – well Empire Down have perfected their take on that sound. A combination of hooks and lightning fast suckerpunches mean these boys mean business.

With equally-matched competitors in both corners of the ring it’s hard to say who will deliver the knockout punch, but you can guarantee that this bout is one hell of a show. Tom Chapman

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