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Review: Tightrope/Brutal Youth – Split 10″

Tightrope/Brutal Youth
Split 10″
My Fingers! My Brain! Records

My Fingers! My Brain! Records mark their debut with this collaborative effort between Montreal, Quebec’s Tightrope and Kitchener, Ontario’s (by way of St. John’s, Newfoundland) Brutal Youth. The two bands play a fairly similar style of hardcore, with Tightrope leaning more in the gruff (but more so of the midwestern variety than in the “tough guy” sense) side of the genre. Brutal Youth play the intricate yet oddly catchy style solidified by Kid Dynamite in the 1990’s. Sure, both sides are catchy as all hell, but the difference is crucial to some (not me, both sides of this 10” are rippers).

Tightrope kick in 5 tracks to this one, and have even penned their own tribute to Montreal’s Pouzza Fest slightly akin toDillinger Four’s crowd pleaser “Gainesville” – simplistically titled “Pouzza Song”. You’d have a hard time pegging Tightrope as a French Canadian band, as they sound straight out of the Minneapolis punk scene – with heavy influence from Rivethead, mid-career Off With Their Heads and even some of the swagger of Jesse Thorson. If we can grab the low hanging fruit on the other side of the record, it’s downright amazing how much Brutal Youth’s vocalist Patty O’Lantern sounds like Jason Shevchuck in his Kid Dynamite days. It has been years since I’ve heard a vocalist add so much urgency to his/her delivery while staying legible.

This little split 10” might not be the breakthrough release of the year, but it is clear a lot of heart and soul went into the writing and production of it. It’s a snapshot of what Canadian hardcore has to offer in 2012, and if these handful of songs are any indication of what both hands have in store, we’re in for a long and enjoyable ride.

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