Schematic of a Waking Life – Split CD

I don’t really know where labels got the idea to start doing split CD releases, but I guess it is a pretty logical extension of the split 7″. This is usually a good way to get a feel for what two different bands sound like without investing much time or money into finding their full-length records. Sometimes a band will manage to put some of its best work on things like this. However, in this case I was sorely disappointed.

I had read several glowing reviews for one of Schematic of a Waking Life’s other records and was pretty excited to finally get to hear the band for myself. I was already somewhat familiar with The Set Up, as I downloaded an mp3 based on the fact that I thought the name may have come from a Reversal of Man song. While neither of these bands is bad, they both fail to bring anything new to the table here that hasn’t already been done and about a hundred times better.

The Set Up kicks things off with three metallic hardcore songs reminiscent of bands from the 90s such as Unbroken and Deadguy. I’ve probably mentioned this plenty of times, but I really don’t care for metallic hardcore, even those early bands that are supposed to be great. The Set Up brings more ironic song titles just like every single other band out there in this genre. “Calling All Ninjas” starts the record off with a high amount of energy, but by the time “Does this Record Look Good on Me?” rolls around, you might get the feeling that you’ve heard this all before.

Schematic of a Waking Life delivers four songs here in the vein of Off Minor or Hot Cross. Its music is kind of frantic, kind of mathy, and even a little “Fugazi-esque” at times. Schematic’s guitar work is quite interesting at times and intelligent sounding, but at others it veers off into wankery that doesn’t do the songs justice. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but just like The Set Up, if I wanted to hear something like this I would probably just throw on a Hot Cross record.

If you like the bands that I mentioned before, you could do worse than finding a copy of this record. I personally found it a bit on the boring side. If you are looking for more music similar to what you already enjoy and you bought all of the Unbroken, Hot Cross, and Off Minor records you could find, then you might as well pick this up. With a little more determination, both of these bands could be good. There is plenty of potential here, but not enough demonstration to warrant a solid recommendation.