Split Habit is an interesting band. While the first track on “Put Your Money”, “Rebel” is a perfect bowdlerized and mollified version of the original pop-punk mold of the Ramones, “City Girl” is a dangerous mix of frat-rock and an extensive Weezer CD collection. However anemic this track is, the sheer fact is that Split Habit is able to go and make the track one that every listener of the band will not be able to get out of their head. Being at the logical extension of individuals who were weaned on Blink 182 and the laid-back nature of California pop-punk music, Split Habit’s music is really no surprise, and this Illinois band is one that is perfect for the Midwest. Tracks like “Lady Killer” is purely directed towards pop-rock radio and MTv, perfectly constructed with audible lyrics that aren’t too intricate, so individuals that might be able to sing along with the track. While Split Habit may not be musical innovators in the traditional sense of the term, they are good arrangers – the music is like a cold Mountain Dew – sugary, sweet, refreshing, and most overall, good. The breakdowns in “Higher Mathematics” are the diametric opposite to the staggered drums on the track; hints of “Dookie”-era Green Day first insinuate themselves during this track, which leads to the paint-by-numbers “Days Ahead But Weeks Behind”, Split Habit make their return to the mild-punk during “Ms. Vandersanden”, a track that is not memorable for any reason besides the heavenly vocals laid down by Travis. “The Lies Within” is a strong track musically, in that the bass starts off the track being audible, as well as the two-part harmony struck up between Travis and Frankie.
While I can imagine this CD being fun and light-hearted for some individuals, the fact is that this track is overly morose, and even when Split Habit channels the spirit of oh so many eighties rock bands, they don’t have the ability to go and stop the disc from dragging. They may cover “Maneater”, and well to boot, but the rest of the disc seems to lose something. On their second full-length, Split Habit is a wandering band – they may see monuments on the way, but they are still lost when the final track, “Picture Frames”, rumbles to a stop. Perhaps by their third full-length, Split Habit will find their missing piece – if they do, I would really like to hear them, as they are just bubbling with underutilized talent.
Top Tracks: Rebel, Picture Frames