There’s been a lot to get excited about in both the Holy Roar and Topshelf Records camps recently. From the former, we’ve had astounding homegrown talent from the likes of Rosa Valle, and the Euro tour vinyl pressing of End Measured Mile from the mighty Make Do And Mend. Across the pond, we’ve got releases from Native and Pianos Become The Teeth, among others, to look forward to this year on Topshelf. And as if the two labels weren’t strong enough alone, they’ve teamed up for this, a short, sharp shock from two of the most exciting bands on their respective rosters.

They’re from one of the South’s most picturesque cities, but Winchester based duo run, WALK! make the sort of horrific noise you’d expect from a lifetime surrounded by ugliness and oppression. ‘Rainhouse’ kicks everything off in typically barnstorming fashion, a melee of chemically treated bass stabs and feral beats overlaid with Bedlamite yelling, all fused together by a seemingly arbitrary, skewed take on rhythm. Follow up ‘Straight Lines’ is equally terrifying, hurling itself bodily from desperate thrash to perverse groove, all in under three minutes.

For all their propulsion, it can’t be said that run, WALK! don’t have any sense of dynamics. ‘Rainhouse’ does occasionally strip away all the distortion and percussive bruising to drop into something more eerily calm, and it’s figuratively (if not literally) much the same with the release as a whole. Rather than simply select a band from the Topshelf roster who mirror run, WALK!’s schizoid stylings, whoever's responsible for that sort of thing has chosen Sirs to provide this particular record’s second two tracks. Whilst not quite reaching the eardrum-shattering heights of their English splitmates, the New York four piece still present a thrilling listen. ‘Bering Straight’ flails its way through the starting line like At the Drive-In on an indie rock kick, lightning tendrils of guitar arcing over galloping drums and vocals that veer at random between laconic and crazed. It’s an approach that similarly echoes Cap’n Jazz, particularly on ‘Buzzard Kill (River)’, which clangs along in a similar fashion until it hits the minute mark, whereupon it mutates into a bizarrely hooky half-time stomp. I never envisioned the words ‘trapped in a time machine’ being stuck in my head to this extent, but that’s the joy of Sirs. In the case of this split, both Holy Roar and Topshelf have come up with a release that easily demonstrates the strength of their rosters. Placing run, WALK! and Sirs in the context of each other can seem like an odd choice at first, but really, it sets both bands in such stark relief that their sounds play out all the more effective for it.