Bringing out what was potentially the very last release of 2013, Leicester’s Meatpacker return once again with their fifth release in three years, and their third split release in a row, after teaming previously with Mangle and with Death Tripper. Here they return to the ‘A’ side after devastating on the ‘B’ side on the Death Tripper split, and they return here with a few slightly longer songs and a few covers, most notably, the cover of The Offspring’s ‘Have You Ever’, which bears hardly any resemblance in the beginning due to the rapid fire blasting that takes place over much of the first half of the song, but by the end it becomes apparent as the band return to the pace of the original. It’s a hair-raiser, I guarantee, but it doesn’t overshadow the rest of the band’s contribution here, which is the best they’ve produced so far – between The Offspring covers and that of grind legends Macabre’s ‘McMassacre’, their original material is as strong as ever, still blazingly fast but with a few more tempo changes early doors (thanks to the slightly longer ‘Death Warmed Up’ and ‘Baby Guts’). They’re emerging now as one of the best grind bands in this country and its to be hoped that more people begin to take notice.
By contrast Sky:Lark! are an odd fit to go alongside the blurring speed of Meatpacker but that’s what makes some splits so great – the juxtaposition between the two bands make for an enriching experience and indeed that is the case here. Not to be confused with the Canadian pop rockers from the seventies, or the Italian power metal band, neither of whom possess a dividing colon in their name, this London trio provide some tasty post-hardcore/noise rock-ish riffs to bite into. Production wise its not the greatest; whether that’s intentional or not I couldn’t say, but the jangly, off-kilter nature of the guitar is somewhat grating at louder volumes which is a shame, because there’s nothing actually wrong with what they’re doing. ‘7 Bodies’ and ‘Born Head First’ are prime examples of tight angular riffing with killer grooves and various yells and screams being thrown in for good measure and each and every track is bloody riveting, and make for a great offset to Meatpacker’s drilling attack.
I can’t see that this is available via Sky:Lark at the moment, or even which label is putting this record out, but you can obtain this via Meatpacker on a name-your-price scheme through Bandcamp and it will be coming via tape and vinyl format too. Stick a couple of quid on it and get yourself some quality underground noise to ring in the New Year.
Buy ‘Meatpacker/Sky:Lark!’ here (name-your-price)
Stream it below: