Having released Everything Left Inside, the six LP box set of their career-spanning recordings, earlier this year for RSD, shortly after, the members of Engine Kid (Greg Anderson – Southern Lord label owner, Sunn O))), Goatsnake, Thorr’s Hammer; Brian Kraft – bass; Jade Devitt – drums) got together and played for the first time in 26 years.
The result is the Special Olympics EP.
Most will be familiar with the EP’s title track which, like the other songs on this release, are re-workings of old material which the band never recorded.
The results are a band delivering a furious hell fire of sound that lasts just over 10 minutes. In a year that’s provided many fine noise-rock and post-hardcore releases, it feels fitting that Engine Kid stick their head through the door before the year is out.
It all starts with Burban on Bladez – a brief metallic noise-rock rumble that sounds like Engine Kid racking up a bar tab with the Melvins.
Which is something far removed from Patty:Tania, which sounds like a perverse version of a Slint song; the band which Engine Kid basically pay homage to, it has to be said. Even the title feels inspired by the legendary post-rock kings.
Here, however the linage is a bit more sadistic, a haunting voiceover featuring Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old granddaughter of newspaper publisher, William Randolph Hearst, who in 1974 was kidnapped by members of the U.S. leftist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army.
Moving away from their post-hardcore worship, and the title track and closing number, The Abbatoir, sees Engine Kid whip up a menacing concoction of sludge-laden stoner punk, which sees Anderson mixing weighty Goatsnake-esque riffs with Rollins-era Black Flag scorn.
Underground post-hardcore pioneers, Unwound, once claimed that the kid is gone. Well, this particular ’Kid is back and with the Special Olympics EP, they deliver with wicked force. We await the next instalment with bated breath.
Special Olympics EP is out now via Southern Lord. Purchase from Bandcamp.