Hailing from New York and Florida respectively, Grey Area and Go Rydell couldn’t be much more different in their backgrounds. Old and new in their respective roots, the two bands have come together to bring their own twist on punk and hardcore on a split that has been unnecessarily floating beneath the radar for some time now. What results is five tracks of catchy, yet passionate punk-inspired tunes that will beg for your attention with fun melodies and inspired lyricism from two bands doing melodic hardcore the right way.
Grey Area’s half of the split featured well-structured punk rock that boasts strong songwriting and a solid vocal attack. “No Guarantees” is the more energetic of the duo of songs on GA’s half of the 7”, slamming non-stop drumming and buzzsaw guitars laced with energetic melodies straight into your eardrums. Following a similar pattern, their second track “Bliss” is much more uplifting, brandishing soaring whoa-ohs and memorable guitar lines that make it a tough decision on which is the better track here. It gets a little repetitive in the long run, but you can’t fault the band’s conviction as heard through the lyrics. The track’s apex sums up the feelings of the side though, as the parting words of ‘I’ll still keep believing that we will have our day’ leave us optimistic and full of energy.
Go Rydell attacks our ears in short bursts, with three tracks populating their half of the split. The 1-2 punch of “FOX and the Hounds” and “Not Cool, McCool” bring furious spurts of crunching guitars and thundering drums in the minute-and-a-half combined running time of these two tracks. While certainly short and perhaps worth a longer fleshing out for the strength of these tracks, they both get the point across in the melodic, yet boisterous appearances they make. Still, closer “Battery Park” sounds much more rounded out, giving the songwriting an opportunity to let these ideas flourish a little bit longer than the first two tracks. Go Rydell certainly have the ability to write catchy hardcore-tinged tunes though, as their half of the split shows promise from a young band that isn’t just going through the motions.
Vinyl or digital, this split is worth a chance if you’re a fan of punk or hardcore and are looking for some new bands to latch onto. While Grey Area’s history is much more lengthy than Go Rydell, both seem to have what it takes to write strong tracks both here and elsewhere, giving fans of punk and hardcore another band or two to check out for those long summer drives.
3. FOX and the Hounds
4. Not Cool, McCool
5. Battery Park