When I was first presented with this split I had no fundamental ideas of what to expect. The bands were foreign to me, and so I dived in head first as if into a water slide, unaware of what twists and turns might occur as I underwent this journey. I must say this was the bumpiest water slide I’ve ever been through.
Should you be new to these bands as well, you need to understand that there’s nothing precisely like this on this earth. Maybe alike in theory, but you can tell they didn’t just rip off someone’s sound. And so, naturally, I’ll work my way from one band to the other.
Breathing Patterns is probably what held my attention longer. Clear influences lie in indie and possibly emo rock, but they certainly mold these influences into their very own sound. The dark, heavy melodies bend and curve around the haunting vocals mixed underneath the instruments. It’s on the verge of macab, hearing the catacomb that is the first song, “Here’s to You, Dr. Seuss”, melts into the jammy breakdown song of “sunscreen” that contains some heavy, angry vocals a little ways in.
What you’ll take good notice of is the occasional noise breakdowns that break up the jams, leading into some minor chord-laden vocals that speak greater than normal words would. Overall, the Breathing Patterns side of the split was very solid and emo-reminiscent with interestingly mixed vocals and heavy, dark guitar work.
Now we come to the Gills side, which was much harder for me to put a finger on because I don’t listen to a lot of modern grunge, and this is obviously post-modern grunge. I’ve never heard any band classify themself as math rock and grunge at the same time, and if this was its own genre, this is what I would picture it being. All I can say about the immediate feeling it presents is heavy, heavy, heavy. The mixing is heavy, the guitar is heavy, the drums are heavy, and when there is singing, you’d better believe it’s heavy. It definitely produces a dark, chaotic vibe. If you’re into grunge, pick up this side of the split as well. As for me, I much preferred the second song as opposed to the first, as the first seemed to drag on a bit, although I really liked the strange melody at the end. The second, although, was more jammy and crazy like you’d expect math rock to be, and the singing makes it really interesting.
Looking back, you’ll really notice the great instrumental skill both bands possess, although it’s much different from the norm. If you don’t like grunge, you probably won’t be into the Gills side, and if you’re not into the original indie punk rock you probably won’t like Breathing Patterns, it’s all a matter of preference. The variation in styles really brings to light that genre doesn’t matter nearly as much as we think it does, just that these bands’ skill levels will make any lover of music happy.