Review by Shannon Shumaker
I feel as if splits are really hit or miss for me. It’s difficult for me to listen to only two songs by an artist and really have much to go off of, but thankfully, both The Felix Culpa and Foreign Tongues have provided me each with two amazing tracks each that really showcase their abilities as artists.
This split starts of with The Felix Culpa’s “Karma City” and while I’ve listened to them a couple of times in the past, I’m not sure what to expect, especially considering that this is the first music that The Felix Culpa has released since their breakup in 2011. That being said, “Karma City” is the perfect beginning for this split. It hooks you right away with the unique guitar part in the beginning and when the almost rappy vocals come in, I’m more that intrigued. The harmonies in the chorus of “Karma City” are really what make this track for me, and this song is a perfect re-introduction to The Felix Culpa. The second track, “Bloodletting Lines” is a little slower and darker than “Karma City,” but overall it’s still a great track. The vocals are soft in the verses but still maintain their strength in the choruses. In fact, the versatility of the vocals on this song are amazing because they go from soft to belting and everything else in between in seconds.
After The Felix Culpa’s two tracks comes Foreign Tongues, and once again, I’m uncertain what to expect, having never listened to them before. And for the second time, I’m blown away by my first impression of a band on this split. “Big Drag,” the first of the two Foreign Tongues tracks on the split is a great contrast to The Felix Culpa, but also manages to complement them very well. “Big Drag” adds a softer, more mellow side to this split, and the second that this song starts, I’m immediately relaxed. The soft, clean guitar parts and the mellow pacing of the song as well as the low vocals are very easy to get lost in.
The last song on the split, “Luxury,” is slow and acoustic and a great ending to these awesome four tracks. While I’m not a huge fan of the vocal style on this song, it’s mellow and pretty and when the rest of the band eventually comes in with the acoustic guitar, it’s perfect. While I didn’t expect the whole band to come in on this track, it definitely wasn’t unwelcome. It took me by surprise, which is hard to do sometimes.
Overall, Foreign Tongues and The Felix Culpa have managed to piece together a lovely split full of songs that, while they don’t sound anything alike, compliment each other amazingly. If you’ve never listened to either of these bands before, these four songs are just the right introduction and will have you aching for more and ready to hit play again as soon as they’re over.
Listen to "Big Drag" - Foreign Tongues