Two eclectic Pittsburgh acts, T-Tops and Cyrus Gold, come together to deliver a brief but bludgeoning split release that is sure to garner new potential fans. T-Tops is a three-piece powerhouse that collects former members of The Fitt and influential math rock group Don Caballero. The band’s sound is a dirty, Amphetamine Reptile-inspired noise rock sound with a bit of early grunge thrown into the mix. Cyrus Gold is an erratic quartet whose only release besides this split is a three-track, 2013 demo that clearly paved the way for their sound now. The band play a sort of frenzied, angular post-hardcore style with a bit of noise rock added in for good measure. Both bands deal out three tracks on this 23-minute release, and both of their respective sides are hard-hitting and infectiously heavy.
T-Tops begins their side of the split with the grumpy, grimy stomp of “Chewed”. The track marches out of a cloud of feedback with huge, grumbling and groovy riffs that remind one of the more recent material from the Melvins and Unsane at their sludgiest. In between these monolithic riffs are bass-heavy interludes that are spiced with palm-muted chugging, atonal guitar barks and wailing, mumbling and other typical vocal nuances associated with noise rock. The two-minute “Stunted, Lowly Dolt” barrels out of the gate next with raw, buzzing grunge-inspired chord progressions and pummeling drum patterns. The track offers a faster-paced assault before the band end their side with another sludge-ridden cataclysm. “Kill (In Your Mouth)” closes out T-Tops side of the split with bending, bellowing grooves and hazy-eyed solo work. The track’s unyielding repetition will lose the listener in its hypnotic sludge rhythms.
Cyrus Gold begin their side of the split with spiraling, serpentine riffs on “What’s the Plan?”. The guitars unleash dizzying angular assaults, the drumming delivers complex rhythmic shifts and the vocals belt out acidic yells of anguish on this fiery little tune. “Bird Calls” opens with a bouncing bass line before the track explodes into a barrage of concussive drumming and melodic riffs. The song constantly morphs in shape throughout its duration, from catchy punk choruses, to tornadoes of disjunctive and shimmering melodic bridges. “Drinking the Blood” concludes Cyrus Gold‘s side of the split with an infectious groove and chorus that bleed into a stampede of punk mayhem. Just like the tracks before it, the song features a multitude of discombobulating rhythmic and structural shifts before it returns to its insanely catchy opening riff.
T-Tops bring the big chunky riffs while Cyrus Gold bring the chaos on this delightfully rambunctious split release. Both bands’ contrasting styles compliment each other well and bring their respective brands of pain. For those unfamiliar with both acts, this 10″ is the perfect place to start.
Release Date: April 30, 2016
Favorite Tracks: T-Tops – “Chewed”, Cyrus Gold – “Bird Calls”
For Fans Of: T-Tops – Hammerhead, Unsane and The Melvins
Cyrus Gold – KEN mode, Karp and Glassjaw