Thursday 28 December 2017

16/Fistula - Split 7"


1. 16 - Complications (Killing Joke Cover
2. Fistula - Mongoloid (Devo Cover)

Here's the second split 7' in Fistula's split series. This time they're joined by sludge legends 16. Forming in 1991, 16 has released 7 full-lengths and countless splits, singles and EPs. This split sees both bands tackling covers of songs by both Killing Joke and Devo. It was released at the same time as the previously reviewed Come To Grief split, also through PATAC Records. I have to make an apology too as I didn't realise that these releases were to celebrate twenty years of Fistula, when I wrote the first review. How many mainstream pop acts can say they've been around for twenty years!

The Come To Grief split was a slower affair. On this one both bands cover the punk of Killing Joke and Devo. 16 is up first with their version of Complications (Killing Joke). It’s incredibly bass-heavy and there’s an industrial edge to 16’s sludge here too. They put their dissonant and distorted take on the song, making it their own. 

Talking of bass, Fistula also goes low on their cover of Devo’s Mongoloid. As un-PC as the title of the song is, the attitude of it suits Fistula down to the ground and they race through it with confidence and some weird guitar-effects. It helps make this split catchy and accessible (in a way). 

You can tell that both 16 and Fistula wanted to have a bit fun on this split. The down-tempo doom/sludge has been abandoned in favour of something a little more snottiness and an example of how bands can turn their hands and instruments to different styles, while retaining their own sound. Good stuff.

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