Lagrimas and Habak hail from Los Angeles and Tijuana respectively and deal in politically charged, DIY rooted emotional hardcore that empowers this split release with a refreshing clarity of intent.
Both bands blend viscerally cathartic hardcore with passages of haunting melody, and harsh, roared vocals with sombrely engaging spoken word. However, they harness these base attributes quite distinctly.
Lagrimas’ four songs are brutally fierce, tightly honed eruptions investigating themes of urban financialisation (‘I grew up in this city, this is my home, soon I will not be able to live here’) and gentrification (‘our poverty is a crime’) in Los Angeles, together with the economic exploitation of marginalised communities (‘they know they’re exploiting me, they call them a success’) that further fuels this social cleansing of the city.
In contrast, Habak’s two Spanish-language contributions are more expansive as they fuse their crust-tinged hardcore with beautifully evocative post-metal. Deploying the spectral imagery of an ever-expanding desert, they explore the impact of capitalist expropriation (‘little more than rest can be yearned for in the empire of nothing’) and finding ways to survive it (‘to look for the devices that allow us to turn frustration into a creative passion’).