In terms of melodic hardcore splits from this year, it’s tough to top the delicious slab of Lifetime / Kid Dynamite tributing teamwork found on Shook Ones and Easel’s effort from 2007's start. However, RVA representatives Resonance and Permanent certainly come close with a four-song 7” here.
Resonance is on Side A and, much like Shook Ones, nails the Kid Dynamite sound to a 'T.' However, where they make their separation is in their unfathomable earnestness -- their vocalist is rough, rugged and sometimes out of key, but his constant, strained scream jumps off the wax as much as it possibly can, making it clear he’s giving his all. In addition, Resonance have some of the best lyrics in the genre around, exhibiting personal crises in elaborate and impressive form, often through graphic metaphors and the occasional tick of alliteration. They also mix up the tempos frequently and don't always play at top-flight speeds. Their first song, “Eyes Immune” is a stupidly fun sing-along, but the band really hit their stride with the incredible and emotional “Pilot Flame.” Resonance sound emphatically sincere in their songs to begin with, but they really spill their guts here, and you’ll feel your heart sink to your stomach when they strike some chords near the end for a visceral tone that sounds like a cross between Dear You-era Jawbreaker and Fairweather’s If They Move...Kill Them. It’s rather fantastic.
With Side B, Permanent offer two new songs that really show they’re coming into their own. Admittedly, by coincidence or not they sound more like Sinking Ships than ever, while their full-length only vaguely recalled them at points -- compare their first song here, “Standing,” to the first song on SS’s recent 7” (“Irish Wristwatch”), and you’ll see what I mean. However, this more filled-out injection of Stay Gold-style melody in their songs has done them wonders, and enables their pair of tunes to have some strong dynamics. Anyone who may have been bored by Sink|Swim should find these songs much more arresting.
For all the blatant similarities contained within, this is a very good split release. Hopefully the reunited Resonance keeps it together long enough to eventually serve up a new full-length (along with the 12” retrospective due out), while Permanent’s improved songwriting has them shaping up to write a great album themselves.
Resonance - Pilot Flame [unmastered]
Permanent - Standing
Permanent - Everything Ending [unmastered]