In the grand scheme of things, split releases are anchored by a notable group appearance with the B-side benefitting from the A-side’s notability. Not so much the case with the latest Ringworm/Child Bite split (pre-order here) that Failure Records & Tapes is releasing. If anything, Failure is the beneficiary of attention for being able to pull this off between these two respected groups. This release is the recent installment of the Split Hits The Fans vinyl series, which has already added splits with Sloppy Seconds/Dangerbird, Dwarves/Against The Grain, and The Queers/Bass Amp & Dano to its Failure’s ranks.
Ringworm and Child Bite don’t need grand introductions, but for the sake of the unfamiliar, they’re two substantial, long-running Midwestern groups. Cleveland thrashers, Ringworm, grows their 30-year legacy with this release alongside their recent ninth LP release (Death Becomes My Voice – Relapse Records). Detroit’s Child Bite is one of more active noise rock groups going with a steady growing profile rounded out by consistent touring and recording, currently for Housecore Records and a slew of others in the past. Between these two, they have 45 releases bearing their names; clearly, this isn’t a hobby for either band.
Itching for some tunage? Check out Child Bite’s new track “The Creeper” below.
If you’re familiar with Ringworm, then you know that their singer, Human Furnace, has always sounded like the most enraged person in the room with each release. Anchoring the A-side of this release, Ringworm lays waste via two high-octane tracks clocking in at just above 3:00 in total. “I Hide In You” blurs the line between grindcore and death metal with the dual guitars of Matt Sorg and Mark Witherspoon’s speed riffs cutting through the frantic mix of hardcore and blast beat drumming of Ryan Steigerwald. “I’m Not Right” trades in the blistering metal attack for a hardcore punk sound that again reinforces how this group attracts the attention of the punk and metal communities across the board. In the three decades, the Ringworm machine has run, they haven’t let up with their sound. They likely don’t plan to, for anyone.
Side B belongs to Child Bite, which consists of new material since the 2016 Housecore release of Negative Noise with three tracks. Since forming in 2005, they’ve built themselves as a formidable presence in the heavy rock between four-LP releases, 22 EPs, domestic and international touring, and singer Shawn Knight’s curation and assembly of Michigan metal/punk festival, Berserker Festival.
Need some Ringworm to brighten you day? Check the full Death Becomes My Voice album stream:
A noticeable detail on these songs is how vicious-sounding Knight is here. More so than usual and it adds only to the hostility surrounding this release with a two-hit combo between him and Human Furnace sparring on sides. The three tracks clock just above 4:00 and are a substantial showing of just how outright weird and pummeling these guys are. It’s also a preview of things to come given the label PR’s confirmation of a new LP currently underway. Their mix of metal/punk/noise doesn’t stray with Jeremy Waun zig-zag riffing over Knight’s manic-sounding verse chants on “The Creeper.” The full power display these guys exhibit on “The Masochist” is in part to Szomakc’s punishing chords, the heavy bassline work of longtime member Sean Clancy led by the battery power of drummer Ryan Clancy. “The Fool” is the choice cut on this EP due to its powerful sound being a short bust and to the point for all 1:08 of its running.
This album is solid from start to finish and a great intro point for anyone new to the guilty parties involved in this release. The split will be released at Full Terror Assault Open Air on September 6th.
Split Hits The Fans 5 Track Listing:
Side A: Ringworm:
01. I Hide In You
02. I’m Not Right
Side B: Child Bite:
01. The Fool
02. The Creeper
03. The Masochist
Run Time: 6:54
Release Date: September 6, 2019
Record Label: Failure Records & Tapes
Check out the Full Terror Assault Open Air festival poster: