“I put it on the line, time and time again,” Jackson Reid Briggs screams in the mic on The Wheel, the first song on the second LP of his band Split System. He’s not lying, and it’s not just him. Every member of the band pours their heart and soul into their performance, pushing themselves to the brink, as if their very existence hinges on it. It’s a safe bet that these Melbourne lads exited the studio with bloody fingers, raw throats, and a fair share of bruises, testament to their unwavering dedication.
Vol. 2 is, like its predecessor (Vol. 1, for those keeping score), an amazing album. It’s not like Split System tries to reinvent the wheel, nor do they try to something different than before, but they do a lot of things either a little or a lot better than most bands.
Split System assaults their songs with unwavering conviction, evoking a visceral response. The super tight rhythm section of Deon Slaviero (Bass) and Mitch McGregor (Drums) provides the perfect foundation for the dual guitar attack of Arron Mawson and Ryan Webb to shine – oh, how I love the guitars on Vol. 2! The only conceivable flaw to this wall of sound would be to have a lackluster singer. Enter Jackson Reid Briggs to the mix. Wait, are they allowed to do that?
Split System hit you right in the gut song after song, leaving you in awe by the force they hit you with. Sure, on some songs (Alone Again, The Drain, # Kill Me) they take their foot off the gas just a little, but most of these songs are fast and ferocious punkrock’n’roll. Front-to-back, this is album-of-the-year material.
Vol. 2 is out now on the holy trinity that is Goner Records (USA), Drunken Sailor (UK/EU), and Legless Records (AUS).