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As another of this site’s reviewers has previously stated, split CD’s are a tough one to call. More often than not one band leaves the other for dead and this release is no exception, as the melody loving Rex Banner leave a somewhat stale Homewrecker for dead. While the latter’s tracks are nothing to scoff at, they pale in comparison to Rex Banner’s refined mix of punk, rock and hardcore.
Kicking off is One Last Breathe, a track that manages to mix the straight forward punk that RB were clearly raised on with the intricate guitar parts of seminal noise-makers Drowningman, which is pretty impressive when you consider just how musically diverse these separate sets of influences are. With a track name that would make your mother proud, Forever The Sickest Cunts opts for a more consistently melodic route compared to its predecessor, although the tongue in cheek outro features some fairly heavy riffing from the band’s guitarists, which just leaves the up-tempo Life In The Freezer to round out Rex Banner’s contribution.
I understand that the whole Deathwish Inc style of hardcore/punk is quite en vogue at the moment, but guess what kids, your songs still need hooks! While Homewrecker are musically competent their songs just don’t have that x-factor that would help distinguish them from the other fifty bands have a crack at this style at the moment. Soul Sickness tries to get things off to a blinder, however it’s over before you can really start to enjoy it, and although Cutting Teeth doesn’t do much better, it does feature some solid guitar work in the song’s mid-section, while Counting The Hours would be a better song if Modern Life Is War hadn’t already committed it to tape.
I have no doubt that both bands are happy to have released something together, but it’s Rex Banner that are the clear standouts.
1. Rex Banner – One Last Breathe
2. Rex Banner – Forever The Sickest Cunts
3. Rex Banner – Life In The Freezer
4. Homewrecker – Soul Sickness
5. Homewrecker – Cutting Teeth
6. Homewrecker – Counting The Hours