Bart M. : Seattle's Into The Storm and Smooth Sailing combine forces on this split EP, clocking about ten minutes of playtime each. The reason for this cooperation is years of shared friendship, stages and rehearsal rooms, and the result is quite satisfying. Into The Storm starts out with two songs, the first of which is a straight in your face rocker that manages to create very foreboding atmosphere by interesting use of the guitar. The second song (naturally titled 'So How Do You Explain All The Dead Unicorns') continues with this in a quiet way but quickly builds up to something heavier, only to slow down again to a spoken passage - somewhat reminiscent of Nada Surf's 'Popular', but this one results in quite a weighty conclusion.
Smooth Sailing takes over at the third song with '4599272', a smooth opener that doesn't even last a minute but has all the ingredients to make it a solid song: strong rhythm, guitar solo and convincing vocals. But: these vocals are also the least strong part of the band. There's nothing wrong with vocals drenched in metalcore-ish anger, but personally I wouldn't be able to listen to their monotony for an entire album. Fortunately the three next songs are not very lengthy. Musically, Smooth Sailing is flawless, with a lot of varying rhythms that succeed each other very swiftly and wonderful pieces of solo that are sprinkled generously over these rhythms. That they're also able to create an eerie atmosphere becomes evident in the last two minutes of finishing song 'Hey Girl Egg Roll Dave Grohl'.
The record is quite a treat to listen to and before you know it you've reached the end and find yourself pressing the play button again. I think it would have been interesting if the bands would have done one of the songs together (preferably with Into The Storm's vocals), but this is a good way to introduce fans of one of the bands to fans of the other.