Trapped Under Ice / Dirty Money [UK] - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)

Trapped Under Ice / Dirty Money [UK]

Split [7 inch] (2008)


This split release on A389 features Baltimore hardcore band Trapped Under Ice paired with British band Dirty Money. With a similar sound between the bands, Trapped Under Ice continues to stand out as one of the heaviest and most creative current hardcore bands.

Trapped Under Ice's side starts out with "Gemini," hitting all the touchstones of their sound: grooving half-time riffs, thick NYC-styled tone, flashy drums, the vocalist's unique delivery and perfect placement of the word "motherfucker." While kind of a long song for hardcore, it features some moments of creativity with an entire verse done in gang vocals.

Leaving behind the street-conscious lyrics of their Stay Cold 7", both of TUI's entries here focus on death as a theme. "Gemini": "One man grabs a devil's tail, holding on tight, one hand in the reaper's hand, guide me toward the light." The aptly named "Death Clock Ticking" features the mortal truism "time won't stop" as a refrain. The songs pair nicely with their consistent themes.

Dirty Money, the lesser-known band -- at least on this side of the pond -- plays a style of NY-inspired hardcore that isn't far off from Trapped Under Ice. The band is solid and the production is full, sounding loud at any volume. The vocalist's English accent comes through, which I appreciate, but he doesn't have a very rhythmic delivery and it takes away from the power the band is capable of. Their first song, "Hollow Shell" is their standout that mixes fast guitar with half-time grooving drums. The second song, with the straightforward title "2007 Was a Bad Year," features a nice breakdown and a tribute to deceased friends. Dirty Money is a good band for sure, but their side is not something I'm likely to listen to again.

While split releases shouldn't be about competition, Trapped Under Ice continues to prove that they deserve the hype.