01. Healing Powers - Death Valley Driver
02. Healing Powers - Weird Dreams Forever
03. Wade - Hail, Chillingham
04. Wade - Jonathan Caruthers
This release is one that I've been looking forward to hearing for a while now, released by Get Into It Recs in the UK and Haunt Yourself Tapes in the US, I am defiantly not disappointed. I'll start with Wade's half: Having played with Wade in a Leeds basement back in November, I've been excited to hear recorded material from them. Their brand of catchy emo/punk is really refreshing and new, I feel like they're totally doing their own thing and honestly couldn't care less about other bands sounds to affect their own, this might not be the case but I certainly haven't heard anything quite like it. Their half of the split starts with the song 'Hail, Chillingham' which starts with a pretty muddy but slightly noodley riff which sets their half of the split off to a lovely start. This section ends with a fill into a faster riff with some weirdly mixed vocals which totally work in the grand scheme of things, these vocals are pretty up and down but easily get stuck in my head even if i listen to this song once and then leave it. At the end of the song there is a half-time section that works perfectly to end the song. The next song is 'Jonathan Caruthers' which start with a raw shout into a fast punky section with very Geordie sounding vocals. One of the things that I like Wade for, is the use of their native accent, I feel like it's a really nice touch. I feel like as I'm reviewing this, I should be comparing it to other bands but I really can't think of any that it is like. This is probably a good thing, however I'm sure somebody could pull out an obscure band that Wade are like. However! This is a brilliant side that Wade have put forward and I am super excited to hear more from the boys.
Ok so now Healing Powers, before this came out I'd been listening to their first two demos a bunch. In the first one their vocals were really reminiscent of Charlie Simpson in his Fightstar days which I really loved and they kind of dropped with the next release however bands change right? To be honest they changed to be better in my opinion. Their side of the split is incredibly strong bring forward to fantastic songs. The first, 'Death Valley Driver' (An amazing song title and WWF reference) starts with a slow and thin guitar riff which is totally filled out by the bass once it and the drums kick in. That and the screamed vocals over that top make for an amazing start to their side. Carry on with the same riff for 2:22 is pretty much fine with me, very droney but seeing as it didn't out-stay it's welcome and the vocals are interesting enough to make the whole song a perfect fit together in terms of instrumentation and length. The next song is a more upbeat and screamo/punk track which is really up my street. Clocking in at just over a minute and a half it kind of comes and goes but to be honest, I don't know what more could want in a 1:30 track. Harsh however surprisingly catchy vocals meet a bunch of octave chords and fast drums, sounds great to me. This split is one of the best emo/punk/screamo releases in a good while. Four tracks of short, catchy and well written material, that will have you listening over and over again. Perfect.
Reviewed by Steven.
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