Thrash Hits

April 19th, 2011

EP/Split: Lavotchkin & End To Empires

Lavotchkin / End To Empires split promo photo Thrash Hits

Lavotchkin & End To Empires
Thirty Days Of Night Records
17 April 2011

by Andy Parker

Before the dawn of Napster, when Steve Lemaq had a voice worth listening to and Jo Whiley was ear candy for pubescent boys in need of a mother figure to tell them what to buy the following morning in Our Price, there was this thing called “vinyl”. Record labels regularly released split singles and label samples across these curiously grooved devices, which played on a thing called a “record player”. In the UK, we were spoilt for choice with these labels, and their all-too-keen ears for new sounds. What better way to reach a wider audience than your home town than to hook up with one from somewhere else and bang out a stonker of a appetiser?

Lavotchkin / End To Empires split EP cover artwork packshot Thrash Hits

If it weren’t for splits I would never have discovered Isis on the flip side of a Pig Destroyer single. Or Envy, thanks to a Rock Action Records sampler. Then of course there was Epic 45 and Biffy Clyro via an Awkward Silence singles club release. And of course there was one of the greatest Fierce Panda releases of all time, The Squirrel EP, which included Funeral For A Friend, Engerica, Million Dead, Jarcrew and ThisGirl all in one bloody release.

Thirty Days Of Night Records have always produced fantastic label samplers, this year their singles club is looking epic with offers to get every single release for the year with a single £20.00 note we are welcomed by release #2 of 2011, with northern mob Lavotchkin, by no means unacustomed to the concept of joint releases, and Leeds-based five-piece, End To Empires.

Ben Gardeners Head by Lavotchkin

For those not yet aware, Lavotchkin are possibly the closest thing you will ever get to a UK equivalent to Botch. The two new tracks on offer here, ‘Ben Gardners Head’ and ‘Arkady’, wouldn’t sound out of place on An Anthology Of Dead Ends. As with their 2010 release, Widow Country, by the end I am left infuriated that there isn’t more. With each track barely ringing in at two minutes, no sooner have they started their math-esque hips into giration then it’s over. It seems near-ridiculous to write for longer than the songs last, so let me put it bluntly: if you want to feel the air pushing from your speakers, listen to Lavotchkin.

Heavens Vultures by End To Empires

Seemlessly the feedback rings out from ‘Arkady’ and rolls into the sludgy openings of End To Empires’ ‘Kill This Epidemic’. The flip side to this record is as equally as intense as the first, growling its way forth with a crackling hum akin to Orange Goblin and many other “hardcore” heavy metal bands from the UK’s yesteryear. Unfortunately this is where End To Empires come a cropper – in comparison to their vinyl counterparts, they sound a bit dull. That’s not to say that they have nothing to offer – on the contrary given the right environment I imagine that End To Empires can really get their buzz on – but it doesn’t quite work so well this time around.


Sounds Like: Harkonen, Botch, Black Breath, Mastodon
Top Tracks: Ben Gardners Head, Kill this Epidemic

Lavotchkin / End To Empires split EP tracklisting:
Ben Gardners Head
End To Empires
Kill This Epidemic
Heavens Vultures


Thrash Hits is proudly sponsoring Lavotchkin’s June tour, where they will be joined by Crocus and run,WALK! on nine dates up and down the UK. Get yourselves along to a show.

Lavotchkin/Crocus/run,WALK! June 2011 tourdates
07 Sheffield The Earl
08 Edinburgh The Banshee Labyrinth
09 Newcastle The Northumberland Arms
10 Leeds The Well
11 Kingston The Cricketers
12 Southampton Crushtival @ The Hobbit
13 Brighton The Hydrant
14 London The Old Blue Last
15 Birmingham The Flapper



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