LIBYAN HIT SQUAD / ROUND EYE (Full Circle) Split LP/CD
When you look at the colourful album design of this split release, you could suppose that it's psychedelic rock. Well, China's ROUND EYE are somehow psychedelic, but more than anything they are deeply rooted in the aesthetics of punk. However, to look at things in the right sequences: the first band is Florida's LIBYAN HIT SQUAD who offer six inspiring songs. Right from the start, they give me those wondrous music shivers that still manage to make an appearance at the old age of almost 46.
The press info describes the music like this: "....six songs of post-SST insanity, a mind-blowing prog-punk hybrid that recalls the wide-eye paranoia of 80s hardcore while achieving the lofty musical heights of The Minutemen and Black Flag." True words, and there is not much to add to what Ripping Records has written except maybe that LIBYAN HIT SQUAD is a great band. They embody the free creative spirit of 1980s hardcore and do not shrink back from crossing musical borders.
'Blown Asshole' is a furious short track in the best tradition of old American hardcore punk, whereas 'Brave New World' is more melodic and downright addictive. No wonder then, that Greg Ginn took the opportunity to play lead guitar on the track 'Full Circle'. You will recognize him right away and his style remains unique even today. The other side of this split contains another musical treasure - Shanghai, China's ROUND EYE. To be honest, I wasn't aware that such amazing bands do come from China, but it's never too late to learn, isn't it? As already mentioned, ROUND EYE is a bit more psychedelic, while the base frame consists of 1970's punk rock and post-punk. There is also a saxophone in some of the six songs, so that I am reminded of X-Ray Spex at times.
'I'm So Young' offers a weird Zappa-esque take on doo woop, and displays the band's unpredictability. In a certain way ROUND EYE's style has got some similarities with the psychedelic punk of the Butthole Surfers or Alice Donut, but they don't try to follow in the footsteps of this groundbreaking bands. But actually, I can't really describe their sound in a way that does it justice, just take my word for it. All in all, a wonderful split album where every song has it's own uniqueness. Just pick it up and broaden your horizon, dear reader.