The first experience I had with Black Kites was seeing them live in a tiny basement, with a ceiling barely taller than the shortest person in the room. I had never even heard of them prior but I immediately fell in love with their unique blend of Hardcore and Screamo. They blazed through their set not missing a note, and despite there only being one guitar, Black Kites is heavier and fuller than most bands out there. Instantly after starting up the split I found myself completely satisfied with the results. Black Kites open up with Sleep Easy, a song that truly shows their range as a band. From chaotic and noisy to completely structured and heavy, Sleep Easy has just about something for everyone. Black Kites continue to relentlessly beat through their 6 songs, coming in at just shy of 9.5 minutes.
With the same amount of songs Convulsions track in about twice the time as Black Kites. Listening to this split is my first exposure to them and I have to admit that the opening track Gasoline threw me off a bit. Gasoline is filled by discordant guitar working, overlaid with off key mellow and clean vocals, creating an awkward atmosphere. Convulsions seem to lay the trap though, and I surely fell for it, because within the first moments of the second track Decompression Sickness they change their tune. The music changes from low key/laid back to upfront and brutal. Convulsions mix a lot of sludgy elements with many aspects of modern powerviolence. Driving guitars and vocals really bring out the intensity of their side. What I find so impressive about their side, is their numerous changes in tempo and vocal styling.
The bottom line is this split is not to be overlooked. Both bands showcase their ability to mesh many styles of music into one coherent sound. This split isn’t excessive in any way; it is short and to the point.
Edit: I was unaware until now that the first track by Convulsions was a cover. I am not going to change the review because I think they really made the song in a lot of ways their own, but just so you know I felt the need to correct my earlier ignorance to this fact.