Two of my favourite bands have released a joint 7” release through RESTISTANCE/RESTRAINT. Halt Ever & EXEK – two bands that revel in creating an unholy din along the same lines of Australia’s goth-punk and post-punk lineage, but choosing to forge their own niches and burrows in the dark. The two songs here are almost polar opposites – one is immediately impactful, the one is lingering and insidious.

First up is ‘Patricia’ by Halt Ever, the shorter song of the two. A few listens to this song and my mind is blitzed, this is noise so forceful I become beholden to it, nothing else exists; nothing else can exist in the face of such a sound. I want to trash, I want to roil – I’m being churned within and my brain is mush. From the vivacity of Australian acts such as The Birthday Party down to the swagger of Witch Hats to the bristling menace of Slug Guts, to the execution of Deep Heat, to the noxious expulsion of Cobwebbs, to cool despondence of Total Control – it’s all of them and none of them, a lone beast. I hear horns, their squall overlays the bass that punched below the belt without penalty. This song is scary, scary because of the power, scary because it’s so good.

‘Baby Giant Squid’ by EXEK is ponderous, expansive and over 16 minutes long. More no wave than anything, this song is forlorn and morose. The song slinks along to the patter of keys and atonal horn squawks that wouldn’t seem out of place in a horror film. Guitar peels across the sonic landscape, searing and reverberating amongst the lulls and mumbled interjections of vocalist Albert Wolski. While there is less upfront intensity, this song is both resonant and deep and rewards multiple listens.

This dual offering will be released on cassette on December 19, with a show slated on the same night at The Old Bar in Fitzroy.