When I receive emails from artists and labels recommending stuff (which is often difficult to plow through), I have a tendency to have an unintentional level of expectation for quality music: especially if I've had experience with the label in the past. Art As Catharsis - an underground Australian label - have a history of promoting excellent artists like Hydromedusa and Adrift For Days, the latter of which are one of my all time favourites and have consistently released excellent albums. So, naturally, when I got the email for this, I was excited.
The first half of the split opens with blues-rock/stoner influenced hardcore band Battle Pope. Opening with some foul language and generally singing about random immature shit, they are clearly trying to prove something or at least tell the world that they don't care what others think about them, and are all about crude fun. And I can appreciate that. Sometimes a bit of silliness that's totally based around shit or sex can be amusing, but they've pushed it too far. Maybe I'm being a purist. Maybe I'm not "getting it" (which based on how dense I am, I'm probably not), but it's lacking in anything to hold on to. JCP , who I will get on to in a mo, have a level of silliness but they have a good sound as opposed to BP, who are just standing there, waving their genitals at children. On my first listen, I got up to "Fillin' Em Up To The Eyeballz" and turned it off. Mostly because it was a clearly very scripted recording of some Australian teenagers talking about swallowing cum and some guy having a limp one. It's all very contrived and unlike some of the silly stuff I listen to, they're clearly trying to be like this rather than letting it flow and being silly because they want to be. It's kind of like Frankie Boyle improvising stand up and just coming out with lewd insults for the sake of the crowds' slack jaws and offended gasps.
Jesus Christ Posse, on the other hand, have some redeemable features. More traditional hardcore, they may be a carbon copy of other bands in the genre but hey, they do it well. They've got a nice, heavy-ish sound and the silly is there, but not in your face or, indeed, for the sake of being silly. They're also a little more structured in their approach, and though there are some very short tracks (something I dislike) they are very groovy and blend together, though sometimes that's a little disconcerting. Despite my thoughts on BP, JCP are a band well worth your time if you want some fun. I'm always one to criticize in a negative fashion more than I am one to praise, but this split strikes me as something where I wonder what the point of it is. Maybe they're making a mockery of the way the stereotypical atheist behaves but I find it hard to read that deeply into a children's novel. JCP are pretty good and certainly something I'd listen to regardless of the religious aspect (which I feel is played very well), but BP are just embarrassing. And not because I'm a prude or not used to such naughty language: I'm embarrassed for them. I don't know if they read a religious debate on /b/ and then wrote songs about it or if they're still in high school and are just doing this for fun and to let off steam, but they should probably keep this stuff to themselves.