Reproach/Toxic Shock, Split EP (Here and Now! Records, 2021)

Who the hell doesn't love Belgian hardcore?

It doesn't matter to me if it's the darker bands like Rise and Fall or Liar, or the more traditional-soundings ones like True Colors and Justice; I dig it all.

My friends know my well and once this Reproach/Toxic Shock split was announced, they let me know the deal.

The 9-song collection (5 from Reproach and 4 from Toxic Shock) from the Belgian bands is a fast and fun listen.

We all know splits can be a bummer if one of the groups doesn't hold their weight up, but that ain't happening on this one.

From my quick research online, Reproach has been around since at least the early '00s, and they have a power violence kind of thing happening in some of their songs. 

Their side of the split opens with a track called "Forward" that could have been on a Slap A Ham compilation back in the day. I'm not a big PV guy anymore, but when it's done this well, you have to give it up.

Reproach's other songs on the split also include hints of thrash, fastcore, and some Youth Crew within their approach. I like how they keep everything short and not a single guitar riff is a throwaway.

Antwerp's Toxic Shock released their first demo in 2011, and their style reminds me of Municipal Waste. They have that tight thrash metal sound down pat.

I don't even mind the guitar solos they fire off because they keep them brief and add them to give the songs some color, and not simply to show off. 

The singer's got a clear delivery that I appreciate over Toxic Shock's non-stop speed train. These dudes probably get an insane circle pit going when they play out!

Thanks to both Reproach and Toxic Shock for putting together a kick ass 7 inch that reminded me of going record shopping in downtown NYC back in the day. This record rules.

Get It

Tagged: reproach, toxic shock