Love American / Harbours
Split


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nathan Flynn CONTRIBUTOR (68 Reviews)
August 30th, 2011 | 36 replies | 3,309 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Two up-and-coming hardcore acts make their presence felt with an impressive collaboration

The nature of the split EP is one of an intrinsic bond between the two artists and what they do with it. This bond is what made last year’s La Dispute/Touche Amore split such a successful one. The two groups have undeniably different influences- Touche Amore being more hardcore-punk inclined- yet had notable chemistry on the record. They also produced one of the best split EP’s of 2010, so the formula that they had obviously worked. One can see many similarities between the La Dispute/Touche Amore split in the new Love American/Harbours EP. Love American has more emotional influences while Harbours’ sound harkens back to the early days of hardcore; both EP’s are short efforts yet feel substantial; and both EP’s have a chemistry and flow that highlight both bands’ strengths equally.

The Love American half of the split is the first and they immediately grab your attention with a high energy guitar riff from former bassist Adam Thomas and a pounding drum beat courtesy of Ryan Longmore. Javier Ramirez makes his presence felt soon after and shows us an impressive improvement in variety and tone of his vocals. Perhaps his vocals are at the benefit of superior production- this EP being recorded with an actual producer, unlike their debut effort earlier this year- but Ramirez has obviously made an effort to improve since January. Although his vocals can get a little repetitive, they don’t detract from the quality of the music in the least. This is ultimately because the musical division of the group offers more than enough variance. Thomas pours more riffs into two songs than some hardcore bands use in an entire album. Longmore, although he is the backbone of the music, also throws in some variation and displays impressive command of his drum kit- particularly of the cymbals. Both Love American tracks stand out, Kayfabe in particular, as the best songs on the EP.

But the early success of Love American doesn’t detract from the second half of the split. Harbours is a more established band, having released an EP and a demo already this year, and their sound is ultimately a little more refined than Love American’s. This is rather ironic, as they tend more towards the Touche Amore side of the spectrum: complete with raw energy and more aggressive vocals. Screamer Matt Gutierrez’s vocals are quite excellent, and he stands out from the rest of his band as the star of the show. The guitars are, unfortunately, rather standard. Raymondo Bolado’s riffs pale in comparison to Thomas’- which should be expected, given their different inclinations- but they’re often little more than palm-muted power chords. This certainly gives the tracks some additional punch, but it’s disappointing to hear seven minutes of the relatively samey guitar work. The drums stand out as the highlight of Harbours’ music, with fill-in drummer Anthony Guerrero holding down a rhythm section that sounds almost entirely devoid of bass guitar. Although the music might not measure up to the first half, Harbours still makes a varied, entertaining listen through the sheer power of the instruments and the aggressiveness of Gutierrez’s voice.

Despite their slight shortcomings, Harbours still proves to be the perfect complement to Love American; the EP is ultimately one of the better splits to come out in the past couple years. The apparent chemistry between the two bands shines through and creates a complete, refined soundscape of the perfect length and balance. Although there is one portion of the EP that stands as better than the other, it’s in subtle enough ways that neither does Love American stand too tall over Harbours nor does Harbours sound out of place or severely lacking. This split seems to conclude that these two bands have bright futures ahead of them; futures that could ultimately lead them to a record deal and beyond.



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3.7
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Two of SoCal’s hardcore darlings team up to swing their fists....


Comments:Add a Comment 
FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2011



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Credit to dimsim for helping me fill in the names when I didn't know them

Tyrael
August 30th 2011



20823 Comments


Nice review

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2011



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you sir. It's not as in depth as dimsim's but I think it gets the job done well.

pizzamachine
August 30th 2011



12571 Comments


Was this Review Well Written? Yes | No

Hep Kat
August 30th 2011



15335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

im tripping too hard to read this, but gj

Digging: Botany Boyz - Forever Botany

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2011



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. Have a good trip!

pmmets07
August 30th 2011



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

definitely gonna get this

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2011



17204 Comments




Counterfeit
August 30th 2011



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening now wow this is awesome

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2011



17204 Comments


thanks dude. glad you like it

Tulannical
August 30th 2011



2051 Comments


listened to this yesterday and looovvvvved it

wabbit
August 30th 2011



6988 Comments


you kids have a scary fetish for guys with mustaches



and I'm downloading it now so keep your pants on adam.

wabbit
August 30th 2011



6988 Comments


nvm some guy on facebook posted this
"The new Owen, Saves the Day, Butch Walker and M83 all leaked within the last 24 hours. I'm so happy right now."

This is gonna have to wait till tomorrow

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2011



28420 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

rabbit you strike me as the kind of kid who's into radiohead

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2011



17204 Comments


HAHA! that was the heartiest chuckle i've had so far this week

dimsim3478
August 31st 2011



4882 Comments


You guys had a producer!? Why didn't you tell me?
--Conner S. Martin.

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

HenchmanOfSanta
August 31st 2011



1857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Remainders was pretty cool so I'll definitely check this out.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2011



17204 Comments


shit was recorded in my living room just like our EP lol. conner did an awesome job. even the rough mixes straight from recording levels sounded great.

taxidermist
September 1st 2011



7200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Love American's side is so fucking awesome. Great job, dude.

Hawks
September 1st 2011



35562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah this is really good.

Digging: Sun Worship - Elder Giants



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