The Blue Letter – Split

Guevara Entertainment presents this tasty 3 song split selling two very different faces of hardcore: grindcore by Me And Him Call It Us, and the ambient post/hardcore of The Blue Letter. The split, available on CD and 7″ vinyl, features 2:32 minutes of grind and 6:59 minutes of ambient, including build up/slow down and filler. The music is fine, but this is too short. So how do you sell a disc like this?

You don’t. Instead, you distribute the disc to music review sites hoping for a positive review. You’re confident in the music because the song on the split is probably the best on the album. Plus, critics automatically love SPs because sitting though bad LPs takes real effort. This one is so short that it takes very little effort to critique. The end result is a glowing review, and a percentage of the readership is baited into buying the full length, which may or may not be worth the investment.

Splits make good business sense, but splits this short make fans suspicious.

But the music on here is something to get excited about. Me And Him Call It Us come full force with “Frostbit” and “Seasick”. The former kicks down the door with chaotic force and hurricane speed; the track pauses to catch its breath, then grooves with everything still cranking in high gear except for the snare drum, which plods along awesomely indifferent. “Seasick” is more complex. Endure a half minute of tech riffing, with a break and neck slide for tricks, followed by a quick grind treatment and random parts shoved together. These guys are sick, ugly and shrieking from start to finish on these two tracks.

The Blue Letter offer “March of the Romans”, a nearly 7 minute song under the post-hardcore influence of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Other bands in this arena include A Day in Black and White, Welcome the Plague Year and City of Caterpillar. “March of the Romans” isn’t epic but it’s satisfying. To start, it rushes through a familiar but enduring chord progression before breaking for a tom drum-led melody section. The track then returns to the chord progression with more urgency, and is eventually followed by another tom drum and bass figure that holds tempo while ambient guitars stir, eventually settling into a brief, clean guitar closing.

This split is all quality throughout it’s brief duration. Fans of grind and/or ambient post-hardcore will want to try these bands. But whether the rest of their material is as good remains undetermined.