Recently, after much searching I found this 7" on eBay and wound up snagging it for a dollar. From where I'm standing, it's a bargain at 20 times the price. Sure, it's a novelty, but it's one I'm proud to have in my collection, even if it's just to take out for entertainment when company's over. Allow me to explain...
For those who don't know, Hatebeak is a metal band, whose vocalist is a 17-year-old African Grey parrot named Waldo. Similarly, Caninus are fronted by two pitbulls named Budgie and Basil (and also include members of Most Precious Blood). Both operating separately for several releases, having them join forces for this split 7" release is an inspired stroke of genius. A self-styled "animal grind" teaming of epic proportions. "Nest-crushing, egg-shattering! You can run, but you can't fly!" boasts their website.
Waldo's vocal stylings on Hatebeak's side (titled Bird Seeds of Vengeance) are primarily low growls. They come in and out of the dense guitar work with a murky echo effect. The closest audio comparison I could give it would be the screeches on the beginning of Death from Above 1979's "Turn It Out." Also, as one might expect from a release like this, there are several parrot-related dialogue samples.
As for Caninus's pitbull tandem of Budgie and Basil, they have a more intense style of rapid-fire barks. Listening carefully, I tried to discern whether or not they implemented trade-off vocals in the style of Tim/Lars or Mark/Tom, or if they preferred to keep their vocals separate á la Matt/Dan or Erik/Paddy. Unfortunately, this proved unfruitful.
Also, bafflingly enough, the Caninus side (titled Wolfpig) contains lyrics for each song, detailing what I can only imagine are the shockingly coherent thoughts and feelings of two pitbulls, including hatred for lawyers, love of the old-school metal scene and mutations on the world and society we're all a part of.
Musically, at least according to Wikipedia, Caninus are described as "deathgrind," whereas Hatebeak are simply "death metal." Metal subgenres are always confusing to me, and remind me of the various subgenres of rave music I'd see advertised in the late `90s. "Dark psy-Trance" or "happy hardcore house jungle" were allegedly very, VERY different types of music. But hey, I can't tell you the difference between Travis Tritt or Keith Urban or Toby Keith, either. I guess what I'm saying is, if you're not well-versed in a genre of music, its nuances will be lost on you. But I digress...
Musical genres are ever-evolving, and I say Hatebeak and Caninus clearly represent the future of metal. If the first step was sounding like animals with low guttural growls, Reggie and the Full Effect took it to the next level by looking the part and dressing guest vocalist "Hungry Bear" as, well, a hungry bear. I say the next step in this evolution is actually cutting out the middle man and implementing animals. Needless to say, Hatebeak and Caninus are way ahead of the curve in that respect.
I, for one, welcome our new animal overlords.
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