Reno-based rock outfit Split Persona released their self-titled debut EP not long ago.
Made up of Zande Hoschak (vocals, guitar, songwriter), Darren Menning (bass, vocals), Brogan Kelley (lead guitar, vocals), and Mike Patterson (drums), Split Persona’s genesis occurred when Zander left Truckee, California, and moved to Reno. There, he met Mike and Darren, who were playing in ska/punk/reggae band Sell The Sun.
While doing photography for Sell The Sun, Zander was soon recruited by Mike and Darren to join the band as lead guitarist. Realizing the band needed a new direction, Zander prodded the band to incorporate his songs, while forming a new band. Darren agreed, and they put together Split Persona, eventually attaining its present lineup.
After winning Spanish Springs High School’s Battle of the Bands, Split Persona began laying down tracks for their debut EP, featuring Matt “Toast” Young (Billy Idol) on drums on two tracks. Meanwhile, Zander landed the band a gig on L.A.’s Sunset Strip, opening for Kingdom Come at Whisky a Go-Go.
A few weeks later, their EP dropped, accompanied by a release party at Reno’s The Holland Project. Then COVID brought everything to a screeching halt. Undaunted, Split Persona is ready to grab hold of whatever 2021 brings their way.
According to Zander, “We developed our vibe from different influences such as Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Van Halen and many others. Darren and I went into the recording process of the EP with the songs I had already written to get a start on the band. Since its release, though, the band has spent more time writing together and developing the sound and overall vibe that is Split Persona today. I think the EP marked a new beginning to a band full of new soundscapes and personalities both musically and professionally. We push each other to be better and work harder, which opens new avenues for creativity. We don’t fit in a specific genre, which we like. Keep developing and keep them guessing.”
Encompassing five tracks, the EP begins with “Stay Away,” opening on potent, snarling guitars chockfull of rough-and-ready energy. Zander’s deluxe tenor infuses the lyrics with tight, evocative timbres as the growling guitars deliver heady flavors.
Perhaps the best track, “All Us Three,” pushes out thick, hard rock muscle blended with tints of psychedelia, giving the tune brawny punch and fierce contagious allure.
Highlights include “Melted Clocks,” a blues-laced rock tune riding a measured rhythm. Smoldering with hefty guitars, the track mirrors the heartache of a friend. “Keep It” rolls out on blistering, angry guitars, emanating seething, heated colors, while Zander’s vocals imbue the lyrics with harsh commentary.
Split Persona brims with luscious layers of rip-snorting rock, formidable rhythmic throbs, and astute, expressive lyrics, all capped by dangerous vocals.