What began as a rave has become a plague: when continental nutjobs Zombie Nation jettisoned their bleep'n'glitch masterstroke 'Kernkraft 400' (note: the group's name was Zombie Nation, not the other way around) back at the turn of the millennium, nobody could have predicted that only five years later the punk rock fraternity would have been blighted by a similar contagion. Thankfully, the containment forces at In At The Deep End have captured two zombie-core crews and rendered them only aurally violent. I say 'violent' - this is probably the most intense experience this side of living Dawn Of The Dead.
Zombie Apocalypse stagger forth, shoulders hunched and mouths bloodied, from New York City; no doubt they're remnant undead from the horrors that stalked the city in Zombie Flesh Eaters (or Zombi 2, b-movie aficionados). Their music is both devastatingly brutal and compositionally taut - that members have served time, albeit while alive, in hardcore luminaries Shai Hulud is entirely evident. The breakneck thrash of 'God I Hope The Data Is Lying' is an immediate highlight - power-violence via rotting fingers and yellowed teeth - but their parting shot 'Tale Told By A Dead Man' is the most satisfying effort in the long-term, a considered slice of prime hardcore that all but the most melodically-minded of punks will adore. To death.
Send More Paramedics should require no introduction: if you've seen them and lived then you'll be all too aware of their punk-rock potency. How corpses can animate themselves with such energy is mystifying, but the quality of comedy gold-titled efforts like 'Zombie Versus Shark' and 'This Is The Place Of Wailing And The Gnashing Of Teeth' is absolutely obvious. Sure, they'll make you laugh with their shouts of "FEEDING FRENZY!", but the jokes are but a charade: lower your guard and they'll slit your throat and empty the brain from your skull. And eat it. All of it.
With 11 tracks (okay, one is something of an interlude) in just 24 minutes, Tales Told By Dead Men offers the listener not one minute of respite: this is tough, talented, and utterly terrifying. Buy it and shit your pants. Such a shame, then, that the artwork sucks a recently dismembered chubby.
7Mike Diver's Score