Split/Red – Serious Heft (2014)

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I’ll try to forgo the obvious clique. Let’s just say Split/Red slams hard with their New Atlantis Records release, Serious Heft.

The Philadelphia-based band’s six-song debut EP starts with an punk attitude from the lead off track “Manifest Blasphemy,” then provides relentless pounding energy all the way through the last song, “Scuzz Byrd.” Don’t mistake Split/Red’s youthful enthusiasm, however, for a lack of skill. The band, inspired by various trips to El Salvador, takes on such weighty issues as oppression, injustice and alienation.

“Manifest Blasphemy” features Travis Woodson and guest axe man Brandon Seabrook, another New Atlantis Records artist, who contribute to the wall of sound expertly captured by Colin Marston of the band Krallice. Meanwhile, the rhythm section grinds in unison on tracks like “Crown of Horns” and “Cuban Heels” while the twin guitars wreak havoc with reckless abandon.

This obviously isn’t your Hall and Oates brand of a Philly band. Think Funkadelic or Black Flag, with the hint of Latino spice. This may not your idea of relaxing morning listening; then again, maybe it is. Split/Red’s Serious Heft is loud, tight, snarling and cathartic. Check it out.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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