Sound Advice: Untitled Split EP by Cartoons and Hellaluya
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Sound Advice: Untitled Split EP by Cartoons and Hellaluya

Local noise-punk acts team up for something loud, violent, and awesome.

In his 1651 book Leviathan, English philosopher Thomas Hobbes described the life of early man as “nasty, brutish and short.” Interestingly, this would also be an accurate way of describing the recently released split EP by local noise-punk acts Cartoons and Hellaluya. And while “nasty, brutish and short” makes for an incredibly unpleasant life, it also sums up just about everything you want in a punk rock record.

While the two bands have a lot in common—both trade in aggressive, thrashy, feedback-drenched freak-outs—there are some key differences. Hellaluya is the sonic equivalent of getting tackled by a linebacker. Their songs come charging out of the gate and continue hitting your with a fairly uniform ferocity. By the time you’ve managed to pick yourself out of the dirt and clear the cobwebs out of your head, they’re lining up to take another run at you.

The highlight of Hellaluya’s half of the record is “Iggy Pop,” a song that would make its namesake proud. It combines the manic energy of Iggy Pop’s live performance with an almost infectious series of call-and-response chants that will, in all likelihood, get you to scream along. The track does an excellent job of balancing aggression with fun. (You can listen to “Iggy Pop” by clicking on the sample above.)

If Hellaluya is like getting hit by James Harrison, the Cartoons are more like getting jumped by a gang of ninjas. You never really know what’s coming next, but you know it’s going to pack a wallop. They stop and start, they trundle along, and then sudddenly break into a sprint. “Vinyl Riot” is a roller coaster–like series of buildups and breakdowns that you can feel in your stomach, while “Bug Eyed” is a bunch of spastic freakouts linked together with a droned chorus.

The Hellaluya/Cartoons split is certainly not for everyone. It’s probably not even for most people. But if you like your music aggressive and weird, than you’re guaranteed to love it.