Somos/Sorority Noise

Split EP

Both bands on this split EP released full-lengths earlier this year, and while one regresses ever-so-slightly from their album and the other improves, they may not meet in the middle anytime soon.

Somos start it with a pair of tracks that may not be quite as good as the material from their Temple Of Plenty LP earlier this year, but are nonetheless solid and a continuing example of how well they polish and improve the radio-friendly moments of more recent Transit and Polar Bear Club material. "Letters To An Absent Future" is ushered in with a rhythmic riff glowing with crystal-clear production, and while the song seems to build to an explosion that never actually detonates, it's the strongest track on the split for sure. As on Temple Of Plenty, it also finds the band applying socially aware lyrics through the most subtle undertones possible ("The indifference to life/Is reflected in the eyes of the passerby"). "Back And Forth" is a lighter, slower burn with a little Stephan Jenkins-style falsetto at one point.

Sorority Noise follow with their off-key emo revival style, which was demonstrated on May's Forgettable full-length (insulting pun not intended). Their first song here, "Dobranoc" is actually okay; it's a slow, measured two minutes one could mistake for an interlude by the World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. But then things pick up into the jangly "Wesleyan's Best Dressed," which shuffles along thinly, and with a leadened vocal delivery on the verses, fairly grating yelps when they find some energy, and some rough and often generic lyrical couplets ("You know I'm at my best/When I'm at my worst"), sounding like if early Promise Ring had to go through rehabilitation.

Bad Timing

Somos' "Letters To An Absent Future"