First and foremost, let me be very clear: this split LP does not fuck around. At 21 minutes, Nashville’s Bleed the Pigs and Thetan waste no time. Bleed the Pig’s side kicks things off with a radioactive dose of harsh noise evocative of screamer Kayla Phillips’ noise project Pulsatile Tinnitus, and they don’t let off the intensity from there. Screeching feedback and bass waves quickly drop as the pummeling riffs barrel into your ears. Both Bleed the Pigs and Thetan cement their foundation firmly in hardcore. Thetan started out as a slightly more melodic hardcore trio called Sanctions in 2004, and decided to keep on as a duo when their guitarist moved away in 2010. Frontman Dan Emery’s pedigree stretches back even further to when he played with Moral Decay starting in 2000.
Together, having cut their teeth making hardcore for years, these bands have put together a piece of absolutely menacing sonic warfare. From start to finish, if this split doesn’t give you a spurt of adrenaline and light a fire in your belly, I’d get your vitals checked. Both bands change riffs so fast it would make your cousin you buy Adderall from go, “woah, that went by too quick!” Both bands spoil the hell out of we the listener by providing not one but TWO collaborative tracks on this split, “Dehumanize” on the Bleed the Pigs side and “Pressure Cracks” on Thetan’s. Bleed the Pigs churn out some viciously blistering riffs that would make NAILS or Napalm Death blush, and call up visions of Coffinworm and local leather daddies Yautja when pausing for lung-deflating breakdowns.
Thetan’s side only takes up about a third of an already brief record but they make use of every minute, only taking a breath to allow creepy samples to be heard. Each track is extremely short, none gracing even the 2 minute mark. You ever been around someone when they’re so mad, so fed up that they can barely stop fuming to form full sentences? Where you’ve personally watched this guy reason his point so repeatedly but without avail that he has just crossed the threshold of no longer reasonable? That’s what this side feels like. This guy is red in the face and clenching his teeth even harder than his fists. Civility exhausted, he is become Thetan. If the BTP side of the split felt short attention-spanned, then the Thetan one requires Quaaludes in order for your Adderall’d out cousin to catch every part packed in at high speeds. That’s really the beauty inside their skuzzy aural geode: within the overpowering distortion and ballistic speeds are crystals of tasty subtlety.
The overall production on this release is as raw as the energy, as though the bands had a message so vital that they wanted to get it into your hands and into your heads as quickly as possible. Like a cassette with a message that could save your life. And among riffs that could crush a person’s head faster than they could blink may in fact be messages that won’t only save your life, but the lives of those both Bleed the Pigs and Thetan are fighting for. These bands want you to make no mistake, this is indeed about a fight, a cultural warfare. These songs are based in the very real struggle of those oppressed in the world today. This is an outcry. This is a fucking warcry. A message of warning for any who would seek to oppress others because of their skin color, sexuality, gender, class or any who are kept downtrodden in order to support the status quo of authority, privilege and exclusivity. Bleed the Pigs and Thetan have raised the banner high and want them to know: we know who you are. We are not afraid. No longer will we take any more shit. We are coming for you.
Thetan is Chad L’plattenier on drums and Dan Emery on bass and vocals. Bleed the Pigs is David Hobbs on guitar, Kayla Phillips on vocals, Taylor Carpenter on drums and Christian Smith on bass. Each band recorded and mixed their own respective side. Mastered by Dan Emery at Black Matter Mastering.