Tightrope / Brutal Youth - Split [10-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Tightrope / Brutal Youth

Split [10-inch] (2012)

My Fingers! My Brain! Records

Two Canadian bands come together for a split release that provides two slightly different takes on melodic hardcore. Toronto, Ontario's Brutal Youth takes a much more Kid Dynamite-influenced route across its seven tracks whilst Tightrope, hailing from Montreal, Quebec, has a somewhat more melodic, less frenetic but nevertheless significantly upbeat approach in its delivery.

Tightrope steps up to the plate first and the five songs featured all generally keep the same consistent quality throughout its side of the vinyl. Opening track "Notes About Nothing" barely makes it over half-a-minute, but is followed by the lengthy "Quandary (Part I)," which seems to cram a lot of song into 78 seconds. "Denouement (Part II)" has a clear melodic edge to it, although with quite an upbeat pace and some excellent vocals. Whilst again it seems that even though none of Tightrope's songs are that long, there is a lot going on and none of them seem repetitive or lacking for ideas, despite being played out in a fairly familiar (and good) way. This is music that makes me want to have the knees I had 30 years ago, that could have me thrashing away down in front of the band as they played song after song--the most I can do now is to imagine how good that would be!

Brutal Youth, as noted above, does take a lot of its cues from Kid Dynamite and the approach is more frantic than that of Tightrope. At times there are hints at a number of other bands that might have influenced the band's sound, including on the track "Postman," which has 7 Seconds written all over it, with the snottiness of Kid Dynamite for good measure. The songs fly by in almost an instant but they do the business in providing an invigorating listen.

Tightrope's tracks show a step up from those featured on its self-titled 2011 seven-inch and highlights an extremely promising band that has quickly become a favorite of mine. Brutal Youth also shows improvement over the Spill Your Guts album that came out two years ago, which shows that the group is not content with standing still.

For me, the Tightrope side is the strongest here, although the Brutal Youth side too has its strengths and make this a decent release indeed. Both bands complement each other well enough without being taking the exact same route and as such they make this a very strong release.