For splits, it usually takes two to tango, and Coma Regalia often seems to be the perfect dance partner. After releasing numerous splits with incredible bands like Capacities and Quantis, Coma Regalia went out and recruited that amazing Columbus band, Vowel, for their next vinyl effort.
This split was definitely high up on my most anticipated list. In early 2k12, Vowel dropped All the Sad Songs; a collage of killer tracks front to back that continue to blow my mind with each listen. In the same general time frame, Coma Regalia released two beautiful splits with Capacities and the Catlin Elm. Now, where these bands destined to meet? Probably not, but I’m glad they did because they got together and released one of the best splits of the year.
Coma Regalia starts the split off by sampling the anime, Samurai Champloo (generally a great way to start things off), in their track 'Blanket Observation Bingo'. It always baffles me how this duo can replicate that nostalgic 90’s screamo sound while only having two members and still creating a great track like this one. Their next track is what seals the deal for me. 'And Woke From The Dream Still Knowing' begins with an eerie typewriter sound masking a recited passage of a novel from the The Underland Chronicles.
"—Snagged. Bane drawing them in. Locking his jaws on Ares’s throat. Sword in heart. Chest ripped open. Falling. Dying. "Don’t go, Ares, okay? Don’t." Lying in blood. Soaked in blood. Dying. Dying."
The song progresses into a beautiful acoustic Elliott Smith-type vibe that builds up into an emotional rampage in the final minutes of the track. In my eyes, this track is absolute perfection; the stand-out track on this split definitely.
Flip this baby over and you have Vowel’s time to shine. Their first track, 'These Hands', pull you in right away with some tastefully used gang vocals. Vowel definitely make the most of what they have because you hear everything in this track: double vocals, dueling guitars, a fancy bass line, ‘dat drumwork, and that goddamn infectious violin. It’s all amalgamated into one fantastic track. In the track 'And Before You Know It, I'm Invisible', they bring the same recipe but include even more catchier melodies. Midway through the track, it starts to unwind a little; it’s at this point where I appreciate their song-writing abilities. The song incorporates all their elements systematically while they take their time building up the finish where the band explodes into harmonious discontent:
"When the clock turns back it really brings me down. I guess we’ll talk about it later, I guess I’ll see you around. And I will keep living this lie without you, never remembering the good or the bad."
If you can tell, I don’t review stuff that often. It usually takes something special for me to gather up enough energy or attention to write a review on a album/split/EP. And by god, this split is fucking special. Check this out please, download it, listen to it, stream it, or just go buy a copy. Both bands have certainly outdone themselves. This split is amazing.
5 fonzarellis out of 5
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