Release Date: 14th May 2021
Record Label: Pure Noise Records
For Fans Of: Wristmeetrazor, The Blood Brothers, .gif from god
Generally speaking, a split release is a chance for two or more smaller bands to release something a bit more substantial than a single, while also attempting to widen their audience by tapping into the fanbase of other bands featured on the release. If you like band A, you’ll check out the split, and might be pleasantly surprised after listening to the tracks by band B, or vice versa. In the case with A Sure Disaster, one band (SeeYouSpaceCowboy) is significantly more accomplished than the other (If I Die First), despite both being relatively new bands. This suggests that the split in question was born not from the two bands’ desires to gain new fans (although that will surely happen anyway), but rather due to the bands wanting to work and collaborate with each other, as proven by the collaborative track in the middle of the split that marks the transition of one band’s half of the record to the other.
The opening two tracks by SeeYouSpaceCowboy, who are arguably the draw for most listeners, provide the heavier elements to the record. Alternating almost exclusively between chugging metalcore riffs and harsh clash chords, the band carry on their style of early noughties screamo throwback that has yielded a swathe of imitators due to the sound’s success. A melodic chorus, clean singing and diatonic chords caked in distortion punctuates the usual cacophony, but rather than employing the (oft overused) ‘light and shade’ metalcore technique, the transitions are so natural you don’t even notice the Jacob Bannon-esque screams have stopped.
While the closing two tracks by If I Die First will still appeal to fans of SeeYouSpaceCowboy, they are situated much more in the post-hardcore camp than that of screamo. With clean singing much more prominent, as well as less focus on dissonance, there is a slight poppy edge to the newcomers that contrasts the relentless heaviness of their split partners. Passages that are more pop punk than hardcore can be found on both tracks, and while the heavy guitar chugging is still a strong feature, the lack of Blood Brothers style weirdness makes If I Die First much more palatable to those less familiar with the two bands. If the band incorporated more mathy elements into their sound, a Dance Gavin Dance comparison would be apt, particularly due to the clean vocals resembling those of Tilian Pearson.
At the record’s midpoint, ‘bloodstainedeyes’, the two bands join together in a collaborative track, ostensibly featuring all nine members. Despite the differing genre classification, SYSC and IIDF blend together in an accomplished manner, united by their love of 00’s era Kerrang music. It does seem apparent that the heavier moments of the track were handled by SYSC, due to the spazzy weirdness for which they are known, while chorus duties were IIDF’s responsibility, as SYSC vocalist Connie Sgarbossa takes a backseat during these passages, but this in no way diminishes the track, nor the collaboration.
For SeeYouSpaceCowboy, the two new tracks maintain their crazy throwback screamo sound, while If I Die First’s songs are an enjoyable introduction to the new band. The takeaway from A Sure Disaster is the collaborative track ‘bloodstainedeyes’. While split releases are nothing new, many fans would delight in seeing two bands work together on a track; whether it be two established acts or some that are just starting their career, this would be a fresh take on expanding one’s fan base – and hats off to SeeYouSpaceCowboy and If I Die First for spearheading it.
Recommended Track: ‘bloodstainedeyes’
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