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Approach with Caution - 77%

dystopia4, December 6th, 2017

One of the earlier releases in Primitive Man's vast smorgasbord of splits, their foray with Xaphan is pure testosterone. While not amongst one of Primitive Man's greatest splits, this is a pretty damn cool way to kill 8 minutes. This is primarily a hardcore split, but both bands have no qualms about allowing their sludgy sides to ooze through.

While primarily a sludge band, Primitive Man are one that are still punk as fuck. You've got your glacial sludge slow-downs, but "Bind$ that Tie and $ever" (were the dollar signs really necessary, fellas?) is by all accounts a thoroughly fucked up hardcore song. A dangerous amount of testosterone is put on display as Ethan yells his fucking face off over pounding drums and swirling waves of frenzied distortion. If Primitive Man are good at one thing, it's brutality and this has it in abundance.

Xaphan are a hardcore band I've admittedly never heard of before. They are similarly pissed off if not a bit more traditional. They are not far removed from the modern beatdown hardcore prevalent today, but they definitely haven't forgotten their traditional hardcore punk roots. We've got two dudes joining the vocal assault: one more traditional guy who sounds like he's just dying to throw hands with someone and a more cavernous but equally as pissed off bellow. Things get interesting near the end of the song. You've got this monstrous chunky sludge riff that is soon met with this crazy slowdown effect that makes the song sound like it's trailing off in a weird drug induced stupor. Good shit.

While Primitive Man has better splits, it's hard to argue that this isn't a good way to get some aggression out when you're pressed for time. Both bands really just let it rip, with the raging hardcore only being interrupted with equally standoffish sludge hatred. Some good wholesome fun if I've ever seen it.