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Split Personalities – 01 by Homo Duplex

In Album Reviews, Canada on April 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Homo duplex — a divided human; the belief that a human being is comprized of an antagonism between (1) the instinctual desires of the human animal and (2) the desire to follow and obey societal pressures (rules, morals, & ethics) to maintain self-control (see E. Durkheim).

Homo Duplex are Ron Bates and Kristina Parlee. Currently  taking a break from their other bands ‘The Memories Attack‘ and ‘The Maynards’ this EP is their first release, and definitely references sounds from their other projects. From the very first song Homo Duplex hit you with the (Canadian?) circular and insular lyrics ‘some questions have answers, some answers have questions / I cant help but wonder why you cant distinguish / the noise outside’. The division between the the outside and the inside recalls the band’s name, while the division between the loud, fuzzy electro-baseline and the joy-pop-sound of Parlee’s voice recalls Sleigh Bells‘ Alexis Krauss singing over Derek Miller’s ridiculously-in-the-red guitar. One minute into this though, and the songs shifts wildly, the baseline gets enveloped in joyously ringing synths as Bates’ soft voice takes the the vocal reigns to drift the song out with the dreamlike ‘You don’t feel / No one, No one’.

The next song, ‘Bleak Creak’, stays very true to it’s title; it is a gentle piano ballad, though the keys are not soft, but intrusive. Their presence is distinct along with with Bate’s gentle ‘and it seems like you will win me over’. The isolation is tangible; two artists from Novia Scotia enveloping a repetitive keyboard line and gentle lyrics within swirls of cloudy winds.

The final song, ‘Deadly Understudy’, defines what we can almost begin to call the ‘Homo Duplex Sound’. Dynamic shifts, fuzzy low end, swirling synths all underscore soft, Bates’ softly repeated vocal rounds, and Parlee’s clear, poppy, and almost Stuart Murdoch-like, lyrics.

In just three songs, (and three of the most remarkably well-titled songs I’ve ever heard), Homo Duplex have left us salivating at what could come next. The EP is a mix of elements in opposition, yet the differences are so measured and so perfected that the opposition is always balanced; fuzz, clarity, female vocals, male vocals, pop, power, warm, and cold. Parlee sings ‘starting here, the time for you is drawing near, starting now you cant have as much as you’re allowed’. Well, if Homo Duplex can live up to the promise of this EP, I want a hell of a lot more than I’m allowed.

Do yourself a favour, download Homo Duplex’s ’01’ here right now. NOW!

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  1. […] Duplex (who we previously covered here) is Kristina from the Maynards and Ron from the Memories Attack (who, somewhat unusually for a […]

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