Wednesday 17 April 2024

Curtains/New Ruins - Split

Labels: Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 07 Nov 2018


1. Curtains - Dampe

2. Curtains - Your Angels

3. Curtains - Ark

4. Curtains - Burnt

5. Curtains - Since Shadowed

6. New Ruins - Never Knows Best

7. New Ruins - We Could Have Had It All

I'm diving back into the ZBR roster as promised in my recent Crossed review. This time I'm focusing on the 2018 split tape (otherwise known as halixkaliV2) that featured Curtains from the US (inc. members of Ghost Spirit, Letters To Catalonia, Nuvolascura and SeeYouSpaceCowboy) and Canada's New Ruins (inc. members of Rinoa and Frail Hands, amongst others). It was released as a run of 75 tapes by ZBR and was one of two physical releases to come from Curtains, while being the one only from New Ruins (according to Discogs). It was also made available digitally.

Split releases come in all shapes and sizes. This one is a case in point with Curtains contributing five songs in pretty much the same running time as the two from New Ruins. Curtains open with ‘Dampe’ and immediately they hit top gear with caustic emo-violence that shifts in tempo and atmosphere. ‘Your Angels’ is a thirty-second hit of off-kilter mayhem that pretty much follows where ‘Dampe’ came from. 

‘Ark’ is a longer song that sees Curtains spreading their intensity out, allowing themselves more time to expand on what they’ve already delivered musically. Going back and writing about a release posthumously isn’t always that easy, at least for me anyway’ so I apologise if I switch between past and present tense sometimes. That said, it’s easier to talk about a song like ‘Burnt’ when it lasts less than a minute. Basically, it’s loud and heavy with screeching feedback to boot.

That same feedback leads you into the final curtain call (sorry) ‘Since Shadowed’. At times the vocals remind  me of the screams from George Pettit of Alexisonfire, especially due to their raspiness. The instrumentation is a lot more violent though as you’d maybe expect. New Ruins are seemingly more easy-going on ‘Never Knows Best’ with cleanly plucked guitar/bass work sitting alongside similarly chilled percussion, while the vocals present a much harsher audible image. The tempo isn’t as in-your-face and that’s fine because the music of New Ruins doesn’t need that. 

Their second and final song ‘We Could Have Had It All’ is filled with angst and unbridled emotion that grows as the song itself grows. A proper post-hardcore song with a story to tell and an ear to bend. Split releases are always a surprise if you’re open minded. The format brings new bands to new ears, which is why both Curtains and New Ruins were such a good fit for this one. 

You can stream and purchase the split digitally from both bands below:-

Curtains -

New Ruins -

Tape copies are still available from the ZBR US store here -

Zegema Beach Records -

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