Split EPs have rapidly became my favourite type of release. It's always fun to hear two (or more) artists bringing slightly different styles to one short release – especially if one or more of the artists is new to you. With that being said, the Firestarter/Old Again split wasn't as quite of an enjoying experience as it could have been because I was already familiar with both bands and had an idea of what the songs were going to sound like.
"Memories" kicks the split off with a lengthy instrumental intro. After about 40 seconds, the rough vocals of vocalist/guitarist Matt LaPerche come into play. The riffs are fairly simple and familiar sounding and the drumming is very fast paced. It's nothing new to genre and it's the weakest song on either side of the split, but it's still a decent way to start the release. "This Is How" is a much stronger song that shows the potential we saw when reviewing New Beginnings (which can be read here). It opens with the drummer pounding away on his kit at a rapid pace (again) followed by a catchy riff that sounds a lot like I Call Fives. The high point of "This Is How" – and the split – is the chorus. It's one that's sure to get stuck in your head by the end of your first listen.
After Firestarter's half of the split comes to an end with a faded note, Old Again's Joshua Partridge presents his somewhat similar vocal style. His vocals aren't near as gruff as LaPerche's, but they do have a bit more of a rougher edge than most pop punk vocalists. Instrumentally, Old Again shows a bit more of an "easycore" influence, which can be heard particularly well in the guitar riffs throughout "No Touching." The split comes to a close with Old Again's strongest track, "Roswell Mill Rapids." The riffs in this song are spectacular – especially the one that kickstarts this song. Although "Roswell Mill Rapids" is an excellent song, it does seem to feel a little dragged out during the bridge and outro; it would have been even better if Old Again cut out the final minute.
Overall, the split is very solid and both of these bands have a bright future ahead of them. I do prefer Old Again's side, but just by a very slim margin. Firestarter's half of the split is two minutes shorter and featured the weakest and strongest tracks on the split, while Old Again's half of the split featured two impressive tracks, but they both dragged on at times.
Links: Firestarter - Old Again
For Fans Of: With the Punches, I Call Fives, Neck Deep