Berkley, CA’s Sarchasm and Knoxville, TS’s Bad Idols have come together on the Splits & Ladders split album that features…
Mixtapes – Direct Hit! – Split
Mixtapes / Direct Hit!
Split - Kind of Like Records
I can’t say enough positive things about this new seven inch split between Direct Hit! and Mixtapes; not necessarily due to the seven inch itself but because it introduced me to two of the best punk bands I hadn’t really heard yet.
Side A of the seven inch features Milwaukee’s Direct Hit! and kicks off with their song Werewolf Shame. It comes blaring through the speakers with a solid drum beat, gang vocals, slightly distorted guitars, light keyboard melodies and a punk rock intensity unmatched by most bands. It’s a perfect skate punk meets pop-punk song that hones the likes of The Menzingers, Lawrence Arms, Slingshot Dakota and the whole Red Scare roster into one cohesive package. Pop-punk melodies, fantastic backing vocals and lyrics about growing up as a werewolf make Werewolf Shame worthy of repeat.
Side B shows a slightly poppier side with Cincinnati’s Mixtapes, but that’s far from a bad thing. The dual vocalists play off each other perfectly on I Was A Teenage Poltergeist, creating a male/female vocal combination that is pretty much unheard of. The only match could be when Agent M joined Nothington on a few tracks from their debut, but even that is a far fetched similarity because Mixtapes isn’t a gruff and worn punk band. They’re a highly energetic pop-punk band in the vein of Lemuria, The Unlovables, The Measure [SA], The Steinways, The Ergs and The Copyrights. Sounds good doesn’t it? It is
However, those two songs aren’t the only things on this split seven inch. No; the second song on each side sees the band covering the other’s original song. So Direct Hit! does I Was A Teenage Poltergeist while Mixtapes tackle Werewolf Shame. This is a cool concept and both bands offer commendable covers that sees them using their own talents to create a unique spin on the songs – so much so that you could be excused for thinking they were completely different tracks. But at the end of the day, they are just covers and I want to hear more original songs. These are both young bands, with promise and energy and I want to hear more by each of them, not necessarily cover songs.
This split seven inch succeeds in every aspect though. Yes, I want more originals; but the four songs themselves don’t suffer at all because of that. They’re still raw, energetic and fun. And plus, it introduced me to some great bands that – with the power of the interweb – I’ve discovered give away their CDs fromDeath Through False Hope Records. So devour this split EP and then go and download their other CDs and be satisfied with some of the best pop-punk tunes of the year.