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June 15, 2024

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Split LP (+/- Records)

By: Jeb Branin

BLOODPACT may be the band that defines thrash... their pummeling and pulverizing sound will chew you up and spit you out. If you could slow this record down from 33 1/3 rpm to say 15 rpm it would still be faster than a lot of bands out there that fancy themselves thrash. Their music is a literal audio machine gun, blasting away with deadly force at any eardrum brave enough to get in the way. The vocalist is flat out demented! I don't know how he can scream these long winded hardcore dissertations the way he does. I swear the man doesn't even take half a second to breathe during any song! And, yes, dissertation is exactly the word I wanted. There are more lyrics in any given BLOODPACT song than on most thrash albums in their entirety. The lyrics are biting social commentary from a quasi-political inter-human perspective. They advocate veganism, promote eco-awareness (to the point of misanthropy) and take a pro-choice stance. On the lyric sheet each song is annotated with explanation and/or additional commentary. Although I don't always agree with the points being made, I am beyond impressed with the intelligence and articulation with which they are expressed. The only negative thing I could possibly say about this darn-close-to-perfect band is that I hate their cover icon of an "X"ed hand raising a machine gun into the air. It smacks of hardline and/or hate-edge when all indications are the band is too intelligent to be of that ilk. The flip side of this record is almost as impressive. VARSITY combine pure oldschool sXe with the blistering speed of contemporary hyper-thrash. The members of this band have definitely spent more than a few hours of their life cranking records by BOLD, YOT, UNIFORM CHOICE, BROTHERHOOD, INSIGHT, MINOR THREAT, and INSTED... definitely lots of INSTED. In fact, to give you an idea of the VARSITY sound imagine if INSTED played with the balls to the wall velocity of a 90s hyper-thrash band. Can you imagine it? Sounds pretty amazing, eh? Well "amazing" is a very apropos description if VARSITY. Bands like this and their 80s ideals are going to take back the X from the hate mongers who usurped it and almost destroyed the scene in the 90s. More power to 'em!
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