Two excellent screamo and post-hardcore bands out of Detriot have teamed up for an epic split they are calling Wayward. The bands in question: Versus Versus and Kill Hours. Young groups, both three-piece ensembles, and each producing a remarkably seasoned sound, perfect for warming your heart and soul and beating back the cold as the wintertide rolls through the Midwest.
Kill Hours is a pretty throwback to the melodic screamo of bands like Thrice and Alexisonfire, with a little bit of Fall Out Boy’s early melodic hardcore thrown into smooth out some of the courser grains and edges. Their contributions to the split go down incredibly easy and it feels very natural to get swept up in the soft bluster of their melodies and grooves. While many of their influences held irony in high regard, it’s fairly obvious that Kill Hours prize earnestness and honesty above all else. This comes through in the lyrics, which pour out like they were the first thing that band has said in a year- they’ve had a lot of time to think about what they want to say and how they want to say it. These poetic lyrics are sometimes delivered with a swaying, almost mariner-like drift, especially on “Journey’s End,” which lends the song a warm and folky, and almost emo- sea-shanty-like feel. Later tracks like “DRFTR” and “In The Event Of My Untimely Demise” have more of a shimmering quality to them which covers their big pop hooks in flecks of gold and silver and land like a downpayment of some promised future reunion with a friend. Kill Hours is doing some beautiful stuff here.
Buy and stream Kill Hours’s half of Wayward below via Bandcamp:
Kill Hour’s half of the split is also accompanied by a short film. Shot partially in Chicago, as well as other parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes region, the plot revolves around a journey to pass on a message in the form of a leather-bound book, traded between friends and samaritans as a kind of spiritual baton in a righteous, saga-like, cross country pilgrimage. You can watch the full film below:
As Patrick Sheufelt of Kill Hours explained to Idiot IQ, the film and the split EP are supposed to go hand in glove to convey a message of hope, elaborating that:
“The film and the record are supposed to be a reminder that although we all share the burden of the current tailspin of society… The existential dread that comes along with that can be overcome by continuing to move forward, carrying that book, that message, that beacon of hope onward, even if it means going to the end of the earth and the edge of your sanity to do so”
Versus Versus, for their part, is a lightly rougher encounter. Describing themselves as, “Born of anger, born of rage, [and] born of contempt and discontent…” the band sounds like what may have happened if Thursday had let more Slayer and ’90s groove metal leak into their sound. “Backyard” sounds like it should be playing during a house party at the point when everything goes wrong, and the guests and revelers are all pouring out onto the porch and into the yard, beating each other with bottles, table legs, and broken keg taps in an orgy of directionless, flailing violence. “Better Life” starts with some ugly death-thrash riffs that slide through metalcore grooves and dark, crisp alternative metal melodies to fight its way to a state of mental clarity. “In Your Tracks” has a crusty kind of Coliseum-like claw and gnash to its whiplashing post-hardcore build and bust structure, while “Witness Marks” embraces a deisel loaded kind of Motörhead torqued punk thrash. Versus Versus’s half of Wayward may be more brutal, but you can’t convince me it’s any less earnest than its counterpart.
You can buy and stream Versus Versus’s half of the split below via Bandcamp: