Soul Control / I Rise - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Soul Control / I Rise

Split [7 inch] (2007)

Eightfold Path

Soul Control and I Rise are two of New England's most promising new hardcore bands around, and this unifying split further cements their associations. Luckily, despite a perhaps somewhat obvious 108 influence on both, they're two plenty different bands.

The former follow up their self-titled/demo 7" from earlier this year with two new cuts. "Focus" might be the fastest song the band's written to date -- or maybe it's just because my record player is spinning a couple more RPMs than it should be. In any event, it sounds like a speedy venture, with the band transitioning to some heavy but still quick(sand) riffs in the chorus. "Self Delusion" is a much more down-paced number that reads pretty articulately, that is, aside from the moment the band forces rhymes with made-up words ("justificate" and "condemnate?" C'mon.). To describe them musically I'll just quote myself from the review of their other 7": "a base influence of heavy early `90s acts like [the aforementioned] 108 and Burn, [mixing] in the soulful thought of Bad Brains and the airy, progressive guitar tones of someone like Supertouch." Done.

I Rise also follow up a four-song demo with two new tunes of their own. Lyrically, they're less personally introspective and more blatantly depressed -- they could benefit from expressing it a little more intelligently in this department, but they do a distinct, clear job of conveying those completely hopeless, morose emotions all the same. On their demo I Rise sort of sounded like a much less metallic, less heavy 108, but here they seem to have already developed beyond that. "When Fear Turns to Hate" is a solidly anthemic, almost mid-tempo track, while there's a great, faster vocal flow that leads the charge in "Bleak, Blacked & Fake."

This split 7" is definitely one of the standouts as far as team efforts in hardcore go this year, and it's really just a sneak peek: Look for new efforts from both in the coming months.

Soul Control - Focus
Soul Control - Self Delusion
I Rise - Bleak, Blacked & Fake