I've found that whenever I try and write a "review" of these records, they come across somewhat corny and don't really give any insight to why I love them so much. So in true form, I'm going to ramble on about some seemingly unrelated situation and hope that it vaguely relates back to this record. Deal? Ok good.
In high school, after "discovering" emo for myself I would scour the internet and message boards trying to to find bands that sort of fit the bill. I would hear about bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor, City of Caterpillar, Saetia, Planesmistakenforstars and others, and they all had this sinister, dark aesthetic going for them and when I heard the music I was always so blown away by how noisy and angry they were. I had always felt the punk rock/radio shit I listened to was somewhat contrived and didn't represent what I wanted in music. Much like the Corta Vita record I wrote about a few days ago, I was drawn to the secretive and dangerous aspect of emo/hardcore. It was incredibly passionate and pissed off, music my Mom would hate. Over the years I sort of lost that feeling when listening to new emo records. It wasn't that the music had lost it's edge, more so that I had grown accustomed to it and it wasn't new to me. I still loved it, but I wanted to have that feeling of discovering some dark, scary secret record again.
That's how this split feels to me. It's noisy, somewhat lo-fi, pissed off and scary (although the cover suggests otherwise)...and I'm in love. Obviously this record has been out for a number of years, and has probably been jammed by hundreds of kids, but to me this was like opening a box from my teenage years and going "WTF! Where did this come from!?". I haven't really felt this way about a record in a while.
Ettil Vyre holds down the melodic side of this split, with tons of slow, meandering parts that explode into vicious heavier parts. The vocals go from spoken word to a very guttural shout that reminds me of Who Calls so Loud or Funeral Diner. In fact the 7 songs that Ettil Vyre offer up definitely have a Bay Area emo sound going on (Portraits of Past, Indian Summer, Funeral Diner, Etc) despite being from Massachusetts. Very intense and noisy, but at times you can pick up on a Sinaloa vibe. (Which makes sense, members went on to form Sinaloa).
Tipping Canoe is actually how I found this record. I had been looking for their stuff based on a Last.Fm recommendation stating Tipping Canoe sounded like Shotmaker. I didn't really get that vibe from them. Shotmaker is very bass heavy and thick sounding, where Tipping Canoe has more of a trebley, tinny sound. Vocally they are reminiscent of City of Caterpillar, with an almost snotty post punk sound to them at times, other times being very vicious and and frantic. I really dig the drums, very punishing and heavy, but slip into almost danceable grooves at times. Neato!
Download!! It's awesome. I highly doubt this is still in print, but I could be wrong.
~AB (Another essay! Sorry. I talk too much)