Under Wraps

Andy "Crate" Carter (voc), Alan "Styx" Ellis (dr), Rob "Badfoot" Young (bs), "Rocket" Roy Percival (git) Innersleave: no

format: MLP Side A:
  1. Undo The Chains
  2. Take Me In Heat

Side B:

  1. Running Away
  2. The End Is Nigh
year: 1989
country: UK
label: Blue Tongues Records
#: E.P.1
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 9/10


I always get slightly irritated when I see 90's and late 80's UK Metal releases listed as "nwobhm". The New Wave Of Brittish Heavy Metal was linked to specific events and a specific period in music history and does NOT apply to every two-bit rock band who released a single in the UK anytime between 1978 and eternity ...with the GRAND exception of this earthshattering EP! My - F*cking - God. Just look at it! Does it look the least like it could be one of the finest late 80's European privates? No. Does it even look like a Metal album?? Nope, I passed it by the 1st time I saw it, taking it for some sleazoid, post-punk, quasi-alternative, whatever-music. Thank god there's such a thing as portable record players. Putting down the needle on this true Metal Treasure for the first time sent me on a time- and space warp back to UK '81. "Undo The Chains" is like the best JAGUAR-song never written! If you thought "Axe Crazy" was a hit, wait until you hear this! It has the same catchyness as, ehr... hm... early Bad Religion maybe? The tempo then makes a radical change with "Take Me In Heat", a slow song constructed in the same manner as those early METALLICA-ballads, but sounding much older and more European. "Running Away" is this bloody leach of a song which has trasfixed itself on my mind since the day I first heard it. I've been humming along to that ultra-catchy chorus for weeks now and it still won't leave my mind alone. It's their most thorough and basic NWOBHM-song, with the same kind of groove as good ol' SOLDIER or EF BAND at their best. But better. Then when you'd expect them to run out of steam they totally knocks you out with the fantastic 6 minute epic "The End Is Nigh". The vocal melodies of the verse is Epic Power Metal in it's purest and most basic form; mesmerizing and raw at the same time, not too far away from the finest moments of Italian masters WYXMER. You get the impression SHOCKSPLIT were a young band at the time of recording, something that perhaps the rhythm section suffers for on a few occations, but they more than make up for it with their 2nd strongest asset (after their songs): their brillant vocalist Andy "Crate" Carter. He's got this perfect, clear, juvenile voice that was made for singing NWOBHM anthems. Where is he now? Where are any of them? SHOCKSPLIT seem to be yet another lost mystery band, but a really brilliant one for once. To me, unearthing gems like "Under Wraps" is what Heavy Metal Collecting is all about and I hereby order you to follow my example. The world could end any day now and then your life would have been uncomplete 'coz you never got to hear their music. Just don't say I never told you, ok...
A tiny footnote: I assume the bandname is spelled out "SHOCKSPLIT" and not "SHOCK SPLIT", since they use the former spelling 3 times on the back sleave. (There, escaped another annoying besserwisser-tirade...)

Listen to this record
here. (provided by the Vibrations Of Doom webzine)

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