Still Alive kick off their half of the split with Razor Blades. The song starts off quietly before exploding into life. Still Alive certainly lean heavily on the hardcore side of the skacore genre in their music and this is evident immediately, though they do implement little bits of ska and reggae during the track. The song is politically themed, tackling the subject of why do we do what are leaders tell us to when we know they are corrupt. I really liked the line “how can we rise with our feet in cement.” 24 Hours begins with an audio clip of running water before a heavy bass line begins to build up the song. Here, Still Alive show off their reggae influence for the majority of the song before it builds into the more hardcore side of their sound. It’s interesting that the band manage to blend two genres that aren’t natural bedfellows so easily. Switchblade Architect is a five minute long post-hardcore song. The song begins in a relentless fashion, with Still Alive melting your face off. As the track progresses, they add some melody and a fantastic guitar solo with another dash of reggae before finishing as relentlessly as they began. If you want a song that will have people losing their minds in the pit then this is the one for you. The penultimate song on the split is named Exposed. Changing things up, now the band play a just over two minute track that packs in so much ferocity you can’t fight the urge to get those devil horns high in the air. We finish with Ransom Note. This is a song about how so many people die in the USA because they can’t afford to pay health insurance. Coming from the UK where we’re very lucky to have the NHS, it’s shocking to me that anyone has to pay for healthcare. It’s disgusting. This was probably the song that hit me hardest on the split and it’s a perfect choice for a final track as is leaves you walking away outraged about this situation.
Listening to this split on a sleepy Tuesday morning really woke me up. Having both bands on this split was a great idea. They work well together but also are different enough that they add variety to the split. I was already a fan of Still Alive before this split but I’m now keen to check out more of Stuck Lucky. I guess that’s the point of a split release.
Stream and download Facing Reality on Bandcamp here.