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October 23, 2017


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Chris Dodge/Dave Witte
East - West Blast Test (Slap A Ham Records)

By: Jeb Branin

I had the distinct pleasure of getting an advance tape of this album well in advance of its release and I can honestly say that after weeks of listening to it I continue to discover new flavors and shades of sound with each listen. Scene mainstays Chris Dodge and Dave Witte have secured enough of a cult of personality (at least amongst readers of this zine) that I am not going to list their impressive pedigrees but instead focus on what this "clash of titans" has produced musically. The entire CD is built on 27 rapid-fire drum flare-ups that all last somewhere in the 30 second to 1 minute range. Layered on top of the hyper pounding is an amalgamation of fastcore, noise, thrash, weirdness, power violence and good ole' punk rock. Sometimes if shreds in a fairly recognizable hardcore style and other times it lurches and jerks and swirls and generally explodes in a million different directions not unlike what you might get if Colin of the DOG FACED HERMANS tried to play jazz versions of the ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET album. There is a little bit of everything on here and then some...there are instrumental tracks, songs with death growl vocals, tunes with female vocal calisthenics (courtesy of Lydia from the aforementioned A.C.S.), cuts with razor sharp riffing, pieces of GRIEF-esque sludge and more. If you have a wide open mind you are going to be blown away by the degree of experimentation on this CD. If you have a closed mind and only like your hardcore fast, loud, and violent you are going to be blown away by how every song on this CD fits that bill. If you are a fan of anything Chris Dodge or Dave Witte have done in the past you will want to add this to your collection pronto. If you don't like Dodge or Witte... well... I hear you can get Backstreet Boys CDs at Burger King, ya bozo.
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