Aloha – Split 7″

Aloha
Split 7"

Volume 2 of Makoto’s split 7″ series pits the chaotic, emotional Lovesick against the chiming sounds of Aloha, and the pairing is more of a dichotomy than complimentary. Lovesick pour on the rock, fast and frenzied, while Aloha take a more flowing, pop-oriented feel.

Lovesick are one of the more chaotic emo-style bands I’ve heard in a long time, and “Hearts By Their Names” is a perfect example of that. While the music stays focused in rock, the off-key vocals and almost shouted style as well as the herky jerky guitars and rhythm give it a sort of hardcore feel. The guitars on this track are the feature, as they’re driving and fast, propelling this song into a flurry of energy. And then it ends. Short and sweet, I’m left wanting more.

But Aloha doesn’t quite fulfill, instead moving in a different, more pop-oriented direction. “Let Your Head Hang Low” has this kind of head-bobbing rhythm, from very light, almost tapping drums and a plodding bassline, with the band’s fantastic vocals giving the song a wonderful flow. As always, Aloha’s trademark vibraphone gives it a light, chiming feel. The drums, when they really come in, are amazing. The edge that Aloha is capable of isn’t really here, but the song still has a more poppy side, and it definitely succeeds as the best song on this release.

I still think Aloha reminds me of Lotion, one of my favorite bands from the mid-90’s, and yet this song shows them moving in a more complex, flowing direction that I can’t wait to hear more from. Their song is much longer and intricate than Lovesick’s, which is really just dabbling in the driving style of emotional rock they’re capable of. This one is most worth buying for Aloha’s contribution. Plus, as with the first volume, the packaging and color schemes, along with heavy vinyl, is quite neat.