Hot Cross & Light the Fuse and Run – Split E.P.

3 out of 5

Label: Level Plane

Produced by: “Prince” Vince Ratti (engineered by, Hot Cross); Andreas Lars Magnusson (engineered by, Light the Fuse and Run)

Like two singles bundled together, each group – Hot Cross and Light the Fuse – delivering great A-sides and so-so B-sides.

Hot Cross – part of the Saetia legacy of groups – would eventually slow their approach somewhat into more of a post-rock / post-hardcore territory, but here, early on, their dueling blaze of fretboard wizardry is all punked up and permanent energy give us the quiet / loud fuss of opener The Eye Is a Tricky Machine, which absolutely kills with explosions of percussions and Billy Werner’s shrieked vocals. This frenzy gets a bit beyond the group on what I’m calling the B-side, though: In Memory of Morvern is, firstly, rather similarly toned and paced (“clean” guitar alternated with speedy riffage), but it’s overly crowded with some purposefully off-time playing and feels like a track that needed a bit more room to breathe.

Light The Fuse and Run attack with more of a hardcore punk vibe, having an intense Discord-ness to them that pumps out the momentous Ghost Town – passionately shouted lyrics and call-and-response vocals, and fantastic production that plays up the song’s ebb and flow. Follwup Instrumentstwo isn’t bad, but it’s a low-key instrumental that really would be better as an interstitial as opposed to a closer.