Just over a half-decade since their self-titled debut, Split Cranium have resurfaced with the beat grinding, tongue-lashing I’m The Devil and I’m OK LP. Following up the sonic blitzkrieg of their first single “Evil Hands,” the crust/metal/punk project has dropped a video for the vitriolic d-beat scourge “Ingurgitated Liquids.”
While six years have elapsed since their debut, Split Cranium have been anything but dormant—they’ve just been sharpening their swords. Heralded by guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner (SUMAC, Old Man Gloom), guitarist Jussi Lehtisalo (of legendary Finnish shape-shifters Circle), Faith Coloccia (keyboards/vocals — Mamiffer, Mara), Nate Newton (bass — Converge, Doomriders), and Tomi Leppänen (drums — Circle, K-X-P), I’m The Devil and I’m OK finds Split Cranium baring both teeth and heart. More vicious than their last album, the supergroup’s sophomore effort is visceral and thriving in dissonance.
Unsurprisingly, Split Cranium squanders no time in establishing their modus operandi—just give album opener “Evil Hands” a listen, with its Popol Vuh-inspired keyboards and blazing guitars that turn the Discharge template on its head. The nine tracks thereafter are steered by Lehtisalo’s smoldering riffs and Turner’s hell-raising howls. Anchoring each track with melodic panache is Newton’s lowriding bass, Coloccia’s ethereal keys/vocals, and Leppänen staunch sonic backbone. Injecting melody into the anarcho cornerstones of speed and vitriol, Split Cranium bows their heads to their influences while widening their sonic spectrum across beauty and monstrosity. An unshakeable united front, Split Cranium delivers a canonical revelation off the axis of classic d-beat hardcore with I’m The Devil and I’m OK.