Loud and overly aggressive, Split Shift’s new album, Tension, is a horribly arranged and distressfully eclectic album. The band aims for the fences, but misses. By crooning ballads and combining rock with rap, Split Shift is hardly breaking new ground. The album offers few surprises.
It has been done before and it was better the first time. Split Shift’s album fails to produce a distinctly unique sound; rather, they have emulated their idols, bands such as Korn or Kiss. But even putting aside their obvious influences, this band is hard to label because they refuse to be confined by a single sound; the album seems to experiment with the entire musical spectrum.
Even with legendary record producer, Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, Ozzy Osbourne), the album is over produced. The vocals are too distorted and, more often than not, Split Shift’s vocalist, Kyle Small, needs to take a step away from the microphone.
Aside from the generic guitar riffs produced by Ken Robert and Joe C., most of the album is the band’s too-obvious attempt to stand out as a new force in rock. Unfortunately, their effort is hampered by an album where the tracks don’t mesh together. They embrace quantity over quality and the result is album where, while its variety is commendable, no one track stands out.
Tension is a halfhearted effort. Unlike their earlier work, which is more defined and rock-driven, Tension tries to do too much at once and loses its focus.
All the way to their final track, “Outro,” Split Shift is trying too hard be a stand out rock band. But there is nothing that stands out on this album and there is nothing different or unique (or even particularly talented) about this group. Their use of cliché lyrics and poor musicianship makes Tension redundant.