Graf Orlock / Grey Skull - Split [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)

Graf Orlock / Grey Skull

Split [12 inch] (2005)


First thing to say about this is how beautiful the actual album is. This release is vinyl only. The first pressing, (which I have) is transluscent, smoke-colored vinyl. Rather than a traditional sleeve, it comes in a die cut backpack sleeve. The lyrics are in the form of a homework assignment sticking out of the backpack, complete with a teacher's comments on grammar and such. However, this record is as beautiful sonically as visually.

Graf Orlock is Side A, blasting your ears in with brutal cinema-inspired grind. Musically, this is a pretty standard hybrid of hardcore and grind. Where Graf shines is the use of samples and lyrically. All their lyrics are taken/based on movies, and the samples they use correspond perfectly. I also have a particular liking for their vocalist. Normally I find grind a bit tiresome, as it seems the singers rotate from the extreme ends of the high/low vocal spectrum. Graf's vocalist moves nicely from the highs to lows and back again, never reaching the extreme ends that get old very fast.

Grey Skull, on Side B, is some of my favorite punk/hardcore. Upon first listen, it doesn't seem too different from the horde of similar bands out there right now, but the more one listens, the better it becomes. All the instruments on their own wouldn't be anything special, but they all work together so well, it blows my mind. The vocalist is passionate, both in terms of singing and the actual lyrics. In fact, the lyrics are so passionate it comes off a bit haughty, but it can be forgiven.

I strongly recommend this record, as it just seems to get better every time I listen to it.