X Is Loaded vs I Am The Door
Momentum Fails/Own Our Radio
Getting hit in the face with a shovel isn’t most people’s idea of a refreshing change. But when it’s a shovel made of screeching guitars and killer beats, and you’re used to being lightly tapped on the forehead by acoustic guitars and whiney lyrics, most would concede that it’s a brilliant (yet painful) change. This is exactly what has happened to me with this split single from touring whores XisLoaded and their label-mates I Am The Door.
As an excellent antidote to the half-arsed rock bands in the charts, X Is Loaded put their balls on the table right from the start of ‘Momentum Fails’, giving us the wall of noise we’d expect, nay, demand, from a ‘proper’ band. Fluctuating between a blinding mix of drums, riffs, and screaming to the more subdued verses made up of drums, bass, and actual singing; the band keep you on the edge of your seat, begging for the climaxes of every chorus. There’s no pretty vocal line here, no perfectly intricate musicianship, just a band playing with passion and talent with the result of a brilliantly old-school song that also manages to be fresh and exciting.
The tone of the single becomes slightly more melodic when it comes to I Am The Door’s ‘Our Own Radio’. They refuse to lose the driving guitars but throw in a typically more indie mix of syncopated drums and sporadic riffs before the verse kicks in. With vocals slightly reminiscent of Panic! At The Disco, not particularly in the voice, but in the style and almost staccato-like pronunciation of the lyrics, this band might be the more likely of the two to break into the pop charts, were it not for their virtuous refusal to dumb-down their sound. The guitar parts branch nearly into the experimental without creating a disjointed feeling, and the song itself is anthemic while avoiding cliché.
These two bands are almost warring on this CD, vying to be the best band, and in my opinion, neither comes out as clearly victorious. This is exactly what a split single should be: an example of two bands with different styles that somehow go together perfectly to form a ‘must have’ CD. The best independent label release I’ve heard this year.
Guest article from Heather P.
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