Coalesce/Boy Sets Fire Coalesce/Boy Sets Fire

Originally released on seven-inch format a while back, Hydra Head has finally re-released this little gem on CD with a couple of extra tracks. The concept of this split isn't unique, having each band cover each other's songs, but it is usually captivating provided that each band is competent and proficient enough to pull off each other's work. No worries on either front as the duel of Coalesce and Boy Sets Fire are among the cream of their respective crops. Coalesce literally plow through their covers, giving them the Coalesce treatment but retaining the air of melody that defines Boy Sets Fire. Especially engaging is their take on "Vehicle," which rides a constant contrast between Coalesce's distorted mayhem and BSF's sing-a-long chorus, undoubtedly the pinnacle of this split. While Coalesce has a relatively easier task in taking BSF songs and making them heavier while retaining elements of BSF, BSF has the unenviable task of trying to improve on Coalese's corrosive sound. Granted BSF doesn't fall into the trap of a "straight" cover, adequately changing both sounds and structures, but something is lacking in the translation. BSF valiant attempts include "73C" and "Simulcast," and while each song is good, they fail to reach the same level of intensity that Coalesce's versions have. However, props must be given to BSF for trying, as this split easily shows both BSF and Coalesce are capable of more than either is given credit for. (Hydra Head)