29 Jun 2022
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Gravel Pit - EP Review: Wolves/Gravel Pit Split EP

10 Apr 2022 // A review by Kris Raven

Open your ears, get your windmill arms ready and brace yourself for 5 tracks of hardcore punk from some of New Zealand’s finest. Bringing back the classic 7” vinyl split EP on side one are the relatively new Auckland 4 piece Wolves featuring members of the Bleeders, City of Souls and Evil Priest. On side two we have Poneke 4 piece Gravel Pit delivering their third offering of new music since forming in 2017. While a relatively short release it's a  solid and impactful offering for fans of heavy music with heart.

First we start with Wolves, featuring the distinct but even more brutal aggression of vocalist Angelo Munro, opening track Animal Instinct is an instrumental piece featuring a monologue/story recording. This song reminds me of early 90's Biohazard, with slick dirty grooves making way for the half time breakdown, chuggy and palm muted guitars (plus a bonus thrashy guitar squeal) , solid low end and drummer Corey Friedlander’s heavyweight playing. This perfectly transitions into Tried for Treason which delivers a pummeling onslaught of hardcore riffage, huge drums and intense vocal delivery. While they aren’t reinventing the hardcore wheel, the song delivers and surges from breakneck speeds to melodic breakdowns. Delivered with urgency, intensity and fighting injustice.

The next track Wolves is a punchy punk and thrash hybrid, reminiscent of 80’s Slayer and Metallica, the bass lines shine through with the guitars along with prominent moments of double kick and epic drum fills. The chorus is huge and like a punch to the face with gang vocals and sick screamed vocals. It's an impressive three song onslaught to introduce Wolves to the world.

Gravel Pit's first track Last Sip is relentless from start to finish, its raw in its delivery and powerful. I am feeling vibes of 90's underground punk mixed with the early 80's hardcore passion of bands like Minor Threat. There is no frills and a controlled franticness but the song is also very hooky and easy to scream along with. I love the delivery of the line 'What are we living for' between lead vocalist Bailey Palmer's vocals and the background vocals further elevating it, a sweet blend of melodic aggression. 

'From the willow tree riverside', another great line to sing along with and the excellent vocal combo ramping up the song further. The second track Riverside has a little more swing, the opening metallic riff and pounding floor tom ascend into familiar territory but also dip in and out of the with more melodic guitar lines courtesy of Dave Hampton. The rhythmic foundation of bassist Matt Mason and drummer Jason Gascoigne keep the song rolling, locked in and tight. The intensity then builds to its final climax as they scream out 'Don't speak to the dead'. 

Be sure to check out this new EP, pick up a 7" before it sells out and check out both these bands live! 


Editor's Note - There are two versions of this split EP. The Wolves version features the Wolves songs first, followed by the Gravel Pit songs - this is the version reviewed here. The Gravel Pit version features the Gravel Pit songs first.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Gravel Pit

Gravel Pit is a 4 piece hardcore punk rock band from Wellington, featuring Bailey Palmer (vocals), Dave Hampton (guitar), Matt Mason (bass) and Jason Gascoigne (drums). The band draws on a range of influences from Punk, Hardcore and Thrash Metal to form the foundation of their sound.

Members of Gravel Pit have played in a range of previous New Zealand bands, including Brubeck, Razorwyre, Basura Blanca, Still Nothing and Strangers.

Having honed their sound over a lengthy incubation period, the band recorded their self-titled debut 4 song EP with Vanya Vitali in August/September of 2018 and have since launched themselves in the live space.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Gravel Pit

Releases

Black Arts
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Gravel Pit
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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