Question Everything Split by Sink Swim and Compare/Contrast (Self Released)
For all of the backstabbing and jealousies that go on within any local music scene, it is wonderful to see two extremely talented bands get together to present something positive and worthwhile. Both Compare/Contrast and Sink Swim are up and coming indie bands from the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, dedicated to their art, and ready to take a plunge headfirst into the big leagues. Joining forces to create a Split recording entitled Question Everything, both entities present new material that absolutely soars. In addition to their own selections, the front man for each band makes a guest appearance on each other’s songs – an inspired idea that renders Question Everything a thoroughly imaginative work well worth seeking out.
The Question Everything Split commences with tracks by Sink Swim – The Fade is up first, dazzling the listener with its spiraling post hardcore melodies and impassioned vocals. There is a sense of urgency in this song that instantly reels you in for the sonic explorations that follow. Flee This Smallest City approaches with its gorgeous refrains and thoughtful lyrical content. Dispel then rocks you into a state of sonic bliss, featuring a guest performance from Compare/Contrast mastermind Fabi Benham. Why this band remains unsigned is as enigmatic as their own glorious compositions. Especially fine musicianship from Dane Petersen on vocals and guitar, Ryan Garvin on bass, and Corey Backer on drums.
In the midsection of the album is a track entitled Interlude (Questions Everything), where the camaraderie of both bands and the theme of the album are presented with on a grand and celebratory note. Then it’s time for Compare/Contrast to unleash their three tunes.
Apparently recorded after Fabi Benham’s life changing automobile accident, there is a lot of passion and introspection to be found within the powerful lyrics and dreamlike reveries of the Compare/ Contrast experience. Inference shows a dramatic step forward for the project, with Benham’s expressive vocals meshing exquisitely with the towering soundscapes. Porcelain Wings then flies off into the stratosphere featuring a powerful vocal performance and stunning guitar work that will leave your senses reeling. And the grand finale spins into your speakers with the moody inflections of Interpellation featuring an appearance by Dane Petersen of Sink Swim. The Compare/Contrast journey in sound in brought to you courtesy of Fabi Behnam on vocal and guitar, Ryan Garvin on guitar, Ryan Krouse on bass, and Stuart Wong on drums.
Question Everything is an ambitious collection of songs that will surely acquire both these talented bands a good deal of new fans. Repeated listening is essential to fully grasp the artistry of this wonderful recording. It will be exciting to see what’s in store for both Sink Swim and Compare/Contrast in the New Year. In the meantime, snag a copy of Question Everything and catch a rising star or two.
(Review by Ken Morton – Sink Swim Photo by Anthony Marcano )