"Split Personality" (Vile Beat; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I never really appreciated or understood the split CD concept. Frankly, I'd rather buy an EP by a single band than a split CD with two bands. That being said, I guess fans of one band might buy a split CD and discover they like the other band as well, so maybe there's some logic to it after all.

"Split Personality" features ten tracks by two punk rock bands with decidedly split results. The first five tracks, by The Gamma Rays (not Gamma Ray) are Ramones-like rockers of various tempos and slightly varying styles. All of the tracks are very solid, with the band succeeding not only in their pure punk performance but also in their songwriting. The production here is excellent and the songs are all strong. 

The second collection of five tracks, by the High School Hellcats, are much rougher and rawer and not nearly as effective. Maybe if the production of this second batch were taken up a notch, the tracks would be more interesting. As it is, they're just okay.

The bottom line here is that I may go out of my way to find more music by The Gamma Rays but the High School Hellcats, although adequate, didn't exactly light my fire.

The Gamma Rays: Eric - vocals, guitar; Jason - guitar; Mike - bass, vocals; Matt - drums, backing vocals.

High School Hellcats: Victoria - bass, vocals; Melissa - guitar, vocals; Nancy - lead guitar, background vocals; Paul - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sep 2023 14:32:28 -0400.