Split Persona Releases EP

Reno might be the ‘Biggest Little City in the World’ and known for its gambling, but the new rock band Split Persona is slicing eyeballs one listener at a time. Heavy guitars meshed with fresh lyrics and steady percussion/rhythms, and even some bonus mysterious riffs. Underneath the hard knock life shell, a few of the five tracks on the band’s self-titled EP have a sensitive, thoughtful side. Divide and conquer if you must, the songs on Split Persona are united in rock. These guys are definitely the band to put on your radar. 

Split Persona is Zander Hoschak (lead vocals, guitar), Darren Menning (bass, backing vocals, Brogan Kelley (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Mike Patterson (drums). From the first track (“Stay Away”) to the last song (“Strawberries”) it’s quite evident this band has something to prove. Maybe it’s a chip on their shoulder, or maybe the thrill of the untamed guitar oozing from within, Split Persona presents itself as a band with tons of personality, but serious about their sound. I also found the first few tracks to be quite different from the second half of the EP. Perhaps this further emphasizes the ‘split persona’. 

“Stay Away” and “All Us Three” are tantalizing, gut punch rockers. At times lead singer Hoschak is melodic, but he quickly changes into a belted out, growl. His roar is deep, and he peppers it throughout the first few tracks. It’s not that I was caught off guard by it, but the balance is definitely favored towards melodic structures. It made things quite interesting! I think they were experimenting not only with soundscapes, and moving the listener along methodically, but allowing the listener a long enough rope to really indulge into different spaces. 

“Melted Clocks” and “Keep It” are both quite different. I felt like they complimented each other on the track listening. “Melted Clocks” is chill, almost passive. The bass is gurgle- like (think Duran Duran’s “Come Undone”). The mood is fluid, almost murky. The bass and the percussion tell a different story and in my mind, they are the clock keeping time. The way the sound is mixed, the drums lay heavier and you can hear and almost touch Patterson’s drum sticks hitting the heads. Visually, this song comes across as amber and deep vermillion. 

“Keep It” has the legs to kick up the temperature. Not too hot, not too heavy. It’s the right tone for a fourth track. At this point, this song gave way to a chapter that felt like Split Persona moved more into a modern rock sound. They pick up the tempo, but never leave the listener behind in the lyrics. This song feels like moving beyond something – scratching and crawling to leave a situation. 

The final track, “Strawberries” stands alone. What has to be a song about drugs or being out of one’s mind, this song surprisingly feels fun and charming. The guitars work their magic, echoing a feeling of confusion. The rushed and idiosyncratic lyrics are scattered, but still fit in a final puzzle. If only I could see, Hoschak sings, giving the listener a quick peek into his mind and frazzled state. 

Zachary Rush