Split Shift - Going Beyond Children of the Korn

Apr 20, 2002 (Updated Dec 15, 2003)

The Bottom Line Split Shift could be the next metal band to make it big. If it does, the music world is in for a treat.

Being part of a tribute band must be great. When fans don't get the chance to see their favorite band, they come to you as consolation. It's not the same, but they still cheer pretty loudly if you do it well.

But it must be even better when you're regarded as the band's #1 tribute band. The band is so impressed, they invite you to play with them. Your band's name is nearly as easily recognizable as that of the band you cover.

After hitting that peak, you decide the next step is to change your name and write your own songs in the hope of becoming popular with your own material. Sounds like a pretty sweet life, huh?

That's the story thus far of Split Shift. Originally they were known as Children of the Korn. Now they have changed their name and are pushing their new material hoping to get signed.

Split Shift is:
Kyle Small (lead vocals)
Bill Brault (bass)
Joe Chisolm; Ken Roberts (guitar)
Kurt Schon (drums)

With the upcoming Korn album and the popularity of bands like Staind and Adema, Split Shift would fit right in with the metal scene. They have a musical range that can go from dark and brooding to heavy and angry. Most of the vocals are melodically sung or screamed, but they also throw in some rapping and Jon Davis-like "scatting." It's got a little something for any fan of heavy rock.

Out of the seven songs they've put on CD so far, I enjoy every one of them. However, three stand out for me:

Drowning contains choppy, rapped verses with high-pitched, broken-up riffs. The chorus changes it up with heavier guitars and drumming and loud, angry vocals. This was their first original to get radio play. WCCC in Hartford was the first to pick up on it.

Forget was the first one I gave heavy airplay to on my radio show. It's a sad one about abandonment. The mood is conveyed easily through the tempo - slow, dark verses and a loud and bitter but catchy chorus: "I can't believe you left me in the end/ And all this time I thought we were friends/ Why don't you just let things be?/ Hoping you will forget me." This is an awesome song with major potential for mass appeal. In fact, WCCC has also given this one some radio time.

Wrist is their heaviest song yet. This is where the angry, almost frightening nature of Korn's influence shines through. The song is loud all the way through especially in the chorus where lead singer Kyle screams, "Don't just slit the wrist of this relationship..." and at the end when guitarist Ken provides even louder backup vocals. This is a perfect moshing tune for Split Shift concert goers.

Speaking of concert goers, I was one in February when I saw them in Springfield, MA. They are excellent performers. They showed the crowd a good time and even included a raffle to make it fun for all their hometown friends. They cranked it way the hell up, making for a viciously fun crowd experience. After playing their original material, they transformed back into Children of the Korn and took us home with a few tributes.

So be on the lookout for Split Shift. They've come out from Korn's shadow and have what it takes to become metal's next big thing, this time on their own.

For pics, concert listings, or downloads of their material, go to http://www.splitshiftonline.com.

Note: In May 2002, Split Shift was signed to Elektra records. Their debut album Tension is scheduled to drop in spring 2004. It's being produced by Roy Thomas Baker (Motley Crue, Ozzy, Queen, Guns n Roses, etc...) Keep your ears open.

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