In terms of a split EP, this, in my eyes at least, is somewhat unique. Slurred Speech and Twin Cyclist do not sound anything alike. At all. Yet this only serves to make this split all the more appealing.
We first hear from Slurred Speech, the work of Josh from Lowell, Massachusetts, playing an interesting brand of lo-fi acoustic emo. Of his two tracks on this split, ‘Ghosts and Straw Fields’ is certainly the stand-out. It has a rather conflicting sound; melancholic yet, despite the lyrical content, somewhat charming and heartening. It’s ominous and it stumbles along awkwardly, yet somehow as he sings the last line “and I fear I’ll be alone forever”, you feel sorry for him, you’re on his side. You may feel the need to tell him to, you know, man up a bit, but we’ve all been there. Lyrically its emo-by-numbers, and whilst this seems somewhat derogatory, this really is not the intention. The word emo, I think, has finally been reclaimed by its rightful owners. These lyrics play out as almost a tribute to the genre.
It is certainly not new for this blog to feature a screamo band, but Twin Cyclist can lay claim to being the first ‘twinkly-screamo’ band covered thus far. Twinkly emo seems to be everywhere right now, so the idea of twinkly screamo hardly seems preposterous; and it works. Very well, indeed. It must be said though, it’s not completely screamo, there are a lot of emo elements, especially in the second track ‘5 Hole Poncho’. What I like about Twin Cyclist is where other bands like this would punch out 2 minute tracks, this band like to play screamo music with an atmosphere; they attempt to do things a little bit differently. There are some lovely twinkly breakdowns and some nice quiet/loud dynamics ‘Grays’ is a stunning track (though to be fair, you had me at The Life Aquatic dialogue’).
This split EP is a brilliant listen from start to finish; the tracks are alternated so you get Slurred Speech’s acoustic emo followed by Twin Cyclist’s punchy yet ambitious screamo. The standout track is definitely Twin Cyclist’s ‘Gray’s but let that not detract from Slurred Speech. This is one of the first splits I’ve listened to where I can’t say which band I definitely prefer. You should definitely download this, and considering you don’t even have to pay for the privilege, what’s your excuse for not doing so?
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