Thursday 20 April 2023

Mrtex/Carl Johnson - Split

Labels: Polar Summer/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 27 Feb 2018


1. Mrtex - That Plant Gets Me On A Deeply Personal Level

2. Mrtex - Human Is Death Process

3. Mrtex - Our Governing Body Is A Toxic, Rotting Corpse So Let's Dump It In The Fucking Sewer

4. Carl Johnson - Second Wind

5. Carl Johnson - Against You!

6. Carl Johnson - Pull The Trigger

7. Carl Johnson - Enemy/Self

8. Carl Johnson - Hot Kila

This review feels like the end of era, as it's the last one I'll get to write about a Mrtex release. This split with Russian screamo/emoviolence band Carl Johnson was released back in early 2018, on tape (limited to 50 copies) via Russian label Polar Summer and Zegema Beach Records. Mrtex have three songs here while Carl Johnson has five. Also, I feel a Polar Summer deep dive coming!

If you’ve been following my ZBR roster review series or even my random review schedule that came before it, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the emoviolence that made Mrtex what they were. Giving it their absolute all on this last release was the only way to go. Their opener ‘That Plant Gets Me On A Deeply Personal Level’ features the noisy, intense craziness of Mrtex for what seems like the briefest of moments before the movie/tv sample takes over. Itself, making perfect sense on top of the buzzing/atmospheric guitar. 

‘Human Is Death Process’ is vintage Mrtex, where sub one-minute songs are still filled with enough music to get the blood pumping. Closing both their side of the split and their final chapter, ‘Our Governing Body Is A Toxic, Rotting Corpse So Let’s Dump It In The Fucking Sewer’ is like the emoviolence version of a rock-opera (I mean that because of it’s playing time). Off-kilter signatures mixed with pogoing percussion lead into an introspective second half that builds in volume and emotion. What a way to sign off!

Talking of signing off (or maybe not), this split also contains the last recorded output from Carl Johnson to date. The screeching feedback that opens ‘Second Wind’ is downright piercing. It leads to a somewhat heavier, more hardcore influenced sound. CJ’s longest song ‘Against You!’ is also their most dramatic, with it’s anxiety inducing guitar melodies and higher-pitched screams. 

Wrenching you back in a faster and heavier direction, ‘Pull The Trigger’ mixes emoviolence with chunkier hardcore. It’s a sound that really catches the ear, especially if you like things slightly heavier. That sound carries on into ‘Enemy/Self’ with it’s bass-laden tones and mathcore-esque explosiveness. It’s latter half is where the grandeur happens, reminding me a bit of the final track from Totem Skin’s Still Waters Run Deep, albeit condensed.

Carl Johnson close things out with the hot mess that is ‘Hot Killa’. All twenty-four seconds of it. The subtlest of subtle melodic riffs join a final burst of technical, noisy screamo/hardcore. For me to sum up this split, I’d say that both bands fell silent too soon. Granted CanaDave has talked at some length about the break up of Mrtex, it’s still a loss given their complete output. Carl Johnson left behind a briefer discography but one that, especially with this split, really left an impression. The feels are strong on this one.

You can stream and download both sides of this split from Mrtex, and Carl Johnson below:-

Mrtex -

Carl Johnson -

Tapes copies are still available from ZBR's US store here -мятеж-carl-johnson-split-cassette

Polar Summer -

Zegema Beach Records -

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