Split Feet – Fall 2013 Demo (Review)

by Steven Spoerl

Fall 2013 Demo cover art

Chicago’s Split Feet have been making some noteworthy waves recently. After releasing their demo through bandcamp, the band’s been experiencing some nice circulation based on its strength. Three songs in total, the demo strikes a strange nerve. Opener “It Broke Once” introduces the band’s aesthetic quite nicely. “It Broke Once” invites immediate comparisons to Sleater-Kinney, only a touch darker, as lead personality Jes Skolnik’s vocals are clearly indebted to Brownstein’s. While Sleater-Kinney’s aesthetic is apparent throughout the demo, the approach falls more in line with the likes of Speedy Ortiz.

One of Split Feet’s most effective tricks is their utilization of the second guitar; it’s dropped in the mix to provide an ambient sound bed that helps these songs achieve an extra layer of menace. Each track blisters with the kind of enthusiasm that’s indicative of a career beginning and the edges are sharp enough to cut skin. Titles like “Cat Mug on Secretaries’ Day” suggest a barbed underlying humor that will undoubtedly serve Split Feet well going forward.

In related news, Skolnik helped curate the upcoming Beyond Inversion tape, which is a benefit compilation for Rachael’s Women Center in DC, and it’s full of Heartbreaking Bravery favorites- Technicolor Teeth, Perfect Pussy, Sadie Dupuis from the previously-mentioned Speedy Ortiz, Potty Mouth, Failed Mutation, and Jail Solidarity are all confirmed along with Split Feet themselves. That’s just scratching the surface. You can pre-order the tape here and stream Split Feet’s Fall 2013 below.