A Split 7-inch release between two bands is a very common trait in punk circles, as it’s a cost-effective way of showcasing new material equally. A split album, however, is far less common. Given how often the ferocious up and coming punk outfits Direct Hit! and PEARS have toured together, it was only a matter of time before they would collaborate on a release.
The Direct Hit! half of ‘Human Movement’ opens with the blunt sentiment “Fuck you, get pumped!”, on ‘You Got What You Asked For’, pitching the listener straight into the heavier vein of punk. However, they immediately switch course to the melodic focused pop punk of ‘Blood On Your Tounge’, although still preserving enough grittiness tempo wise to keep the abrasive flow going.
Whilst the Milwaukee quartet maintains their solid formula of heavy and lighter songs on this split, their rendition of PEARS’ ‘You’re Boring’ is where they shine brightest. Vocalist Nick Woods particularly nails the blood-curdling growls of the original, and as with PEARS’ rendition of ‘The World Is Ending (Sorta)’, it’s clear how much both bands love each other’s material.
On the 2nd half of Human Movement, New Orleans’ PEARS keep the momentum going with ‘Hey There, Begonia’, an anthemic opener that seamlessly blends into timeless melodic hardcore territory. Dynamically they continue to build on the bombastic aggression of 2016’s ‘Green Star’, however production-wise the drums sound punchier and the wild guitar solos are far more satisfying.
Their playful and absurd take on punk hasn’t changed either, with an unexpected Drowning Pool reference during ‘Misery Conquers The World’, where frontman Zach Quinn screams “Let the bodies hit the floor” followed by a sludgy breakdown.
If you’re impatient for PEARS and Direct Hit! to release new albums, then ‘Human Movement’ is an essential addition to both band’s discographies, contributing their best traits to the modern punk scene.
‘Human Movement’ by PEARS/Direct Hit! is out now on Fat Wreck Chords.
Words by Ashwin Bhandari (@GIVEUPOX17)