archive Man is the Varmint

Top 10 Splits of 2012 (10-6)

Most of the splits I listened to this year were from Hardcore and Screamo bands. Not a lot of Punk bands put out splits I was really interested in. It was kind of a light year in general for Punk. Here’s the first half of my splits list.

10.) Locktender / Brighter Arrows
I have to thank my brother for introducing me to Locktender. He wrote a great review of their collection EP a few months back. He also wrote a review for this split as well, but I’ll give my own thoughts on it. First off, Locktender has the same energy as many of the harder screamo groups of the late 90’s early 00’s. Bands like Wolves, A Light In the Attic, Transistor Transistor, and Majority Rule paving the way, Locktender get to pummel instead of flail about. Locktender only contribute one song to this split, but seeing as it is a ten minute track you don’t need to feel ripped off. The flipside features two tracks by Brighter Arrows entitled “Eternity” and “Entirety”. Brighter Arrows represent the other side of screamo with it’s cleaner vocals and more intricate guitar playing. This split is the personification of both sides of the screamo spectrum and highlights what I love about each of them.

9.) Full of Hell / Code Orange Kids
Hype tends to turn me off on a band. Not that I’m opposed to a band getting popular, quite the contrary. I love it when groups that deserve it finally get recognition. Often times I can’t really see what is so special. Full of Hell is one of those bands for me. I’m sure they’re an excellent band, great people, and well deserving of the hype; they just aren’t my thing. This split is here because of Code Orange Kids. I got into this band shortly right before Cycles was released and right away I noticed that they actually sounded like they put a little more passion into their music. This genre tends to get bogged down by goons trying to be tough and something about COK made me think they are a bit different, even if I can’t put my finger on it.

8.) Skin Like Iron / NAILS
I came for NAILS but stayed for Skin Like Iron. In fact, after I listened to it a few times I had to do some research on SLI. Why does this band speak to me? Because they remind me of one of my all time favorite bands, Zao. Now they don’t exactly sound the same, but there is just enough touches to make me think a crustier Funeral of God. That’s not to say that the NAILS side isn’t good. It’s very good actually, but there is only so long that crusty grindcore can hold my attention.

7.) Capacities / Coma Regalia
I was a bit bummed by Black Kites breakup but not soon after did Capacities appear. Featuring Black Kites bassist, Tom Schlatter, as well as Chris Flynn and Rob Ross of The Saddest Landscape, Capacities are a bit of a screamo super band. The band contributes four songs to this split and they fly by pretty quickly considering that they’re all just over a minute. I don’t know much about Coma Regalia, but the single song they add is much in the same vein as Capacities. Sometimes I even think they’re the same band, but the difference in the vocals and production remind me there is another band on this split.

6.) Blaster the Rocket Man / Destroy Nate Allen
To tell you the truth, I haven’t even listened to the Destroy Nate Allen side of this split. It could be great or horrible and I’m sure that makes me an irresponsible reviewer, but I don’t care. The only reason why I bought it is for Blaster the Rocket Man. One of the greatest Christian Punk bands ever, who never got the attention they deserved. I was even late to the game with Blaster because they broke up before I ever heard a single song. I have never heard a band nearly as creative as Blaster, except for Voice of the Mysterons who were formed by Blaster vocalist Otto Bot after he moved to Scotland. Just listen to these songs titles; “Detective of Nightmares and the Case of the Polter Zeitgeist - or - What Weird Forms Creep into the Big Sleep?” and “Death of an Android Gunslinger (A Meta-Galactic Dialogue Followed By a Thrilling Action Sequence and Tragi-Comic Twist)” What do they sound like? A gonzo version of the Dickies and the Dead Kennedys and country western music stepped heavily in science fiction and horror. These songs were released digitally in 2010 as a split release with Voice of the Mysterons, but thanks to it’s release as a split 7” with Destroy Nate Allen, I have no problem including it here. I’ve also never heard these songs prior to buying this 7”. Oh and the Destroy Nate Allen side isn’t horrible, this particular type of Folk Punk just isn’t my thing.

Runners Up: The Wonder Years / Stay Ahead of the Weather, Direct Hit!/Hold Tight! - Tight Hold!/Hit Direct!, Converge / Napalm Death, Beasts of No Nation / LTW, Gehenna / Integrity

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