EP Review: Sylvania Ave, Genius Christ, Record Setter split

Posted: by The Editor

Denton, TX, is home to a burgeoning emo scene. At least, that’s the impression one gets listening to the latest split from local bands Sylvania Ave, Genius Christ, and Record Setter. Each occupies a fairly distinct realm within the genre, making for an album that while diverse, is sure to win over fans of any of the bands.

Sylvania Ave’s first offering is “A Different Point of View,” which begins slow and subdued, dotted with twinkly keys. The second half is just as twinkly, but then the screaming starts and the band channels the energy of groups like Commander Salamander. “When You Tried To,” their other contribution, couldn’t be further from away from that sound. The acoustic ballad recalls the whispery earnestness of bands like Carissa’s Wierd. It isn’t a great example of Sylvania Ave’s style – their music outside of this split is much more punk-influenced – but it is a beautiful song.

Genius Christ’s portion is closer to the dominant style of today’s emo: mathy, fast, and gruff. They’re the type of band who’d fit in well on Counter Intuitive Records, and “Mind Sweeper” is easily the most fun song on this whole split, demanding to be shouted along with in some sweaty basement somewhere.

“Self of Steam” lulls you into Record Setter’s third of the album expecting a reprieve after Genius Christ before collapsing into a climax that borders on straight-up screamo. They strike a balance similar to forgotten late ‘90s gems like Edaline and Strictly Ballroom (or the better-remembered titans I Hate Myself) of clean, melodic emo and apocalyptic screamo. “Is This Existing” closes out the split punishingly, building into the album’s most aggressive track.

The split is a good introduction to three up-and-coming bands, all of whom could easily stand up to the scene’s biggest names. It seems they’ve already taken over Denton, and the next step is to take over the world.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Zac Djamoos | @greatwhitebison

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