Excel – “Split Image” Double LP
Excel were one of the better proponents of old school crossover thrash. Spawned from the Californian punk scene of the ealry ’80s, they evolved alongside Cryptic Slaughter, Corrosion Of Conformity, and, yeah, of course, Suicidal Tendencies, heading towards the stylistic traits of the metal that they would have been hearing when sharing stages with the likes of Testament, Overkill and Megadeth. Maybe Excel have been slightly overlooked ever since – although not by Southern Lord who have dedicated themselves to reissuing much of the Excel back catalogue – and considering the super-stadium-star status of the some of the survivors of the crossover scene, it does feels a little unfair on Excel, who, at the time, owned far more credibility than many of their peers. Afterall, these guys had all the quick-ass tightness and fret-shredding musical-chops of the metal dudes, while maintaining the integrity and suss of their hardcore punk origins (which you can clearly hear in the vocal-style). This reissue of their debut album (that was originally released on Suicidal Tendencies’ label in 1987) now comes as as an expanded double album that includes their demos (Personal Onslaught from 1985 and Rufuse To Quit) and the tracks from the Welcome To Venice compilation. All remastered by Brad Boatright.