I’m going to do this one a little bit different and do a track by track, seems the most sensible option as each band provide one track each.
This release features two bands from the USA and two from the UK. The USA bands occupy one side of this 7” and the UK bands, the other. Its available on either black (100) or red white and blue splatter (300) vinyl, which I can only assume lends more than a tip of the hat to the two countries flag colours, either way, it looks stunning!
I am familiar with both Nai Harvest and Reno Dakota but the two American bands are completely new to me, so here goes!
Bonjour – The Spice Must Flow!
Bonjour are a Philadelphia based band and play a sort of twinkly emo with added screams here and there.
This song is catchy and musically very good, but I can’t help think that I’ve heard it all before. Although it does have a chugging riff nearer the end which is enjoyable and a bit different in this genre, I’ll have to listen to a full, proper release from this band to decide if they are for me or not, overall however this is a solid song that fits well on this release but isn’t the strongest song. The second half of this song is really good, it picks up a lot from the ambling first half, maybe this is just my fondness for ridiculous riffs however.
It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on this lot.
Invalids – Monary System
On first listen Invalids sound like This Town Need Guns with Tubelord vocals, which makes for an interesting combination.
This is very twinkly and very, very technical, it’s a little bit different as well, the song starts with a group chant and hand clap section, which sets the song off to a great start, it then gets very fast and twinkly and soon the vocals kick in. It’s an impressive start and rest of the song keeps up with this twinkly vocal voyage. It’s made all the more impressive when you realise that this band is a 2 piece! How is that guitar work possible?!? Its impressive!
Whilst listening it was hard to get away from the vocals, it’s very womanly sounding, which obviously isn’t a bad thing at all, because it works and sets them aside from most others, a unique selling point if you will. It’s a soft delivery, with actual proper singing, I find it quite relaxing.
The song ends abruptly and throughout the song the time signatures are all over the place, but I like that and you’ll definitely be left wanting to hear more from this band!
So that’s the American bands, flip the record over, and now it’s the UK’s turn.
Nai Harvest – Red Letter Day, On Play (#2)
I am very familiar with Nai Harvest and have liked their stuff for a while. This is a reworking of an old song from the Ceiling Summer EP so I know the song well. They’ve changed it up a bit but in essence it’s exactly the same song with a different recording. They were a 3 piece but recently lost a member but they are continuing as a 2 piece, which might explain this song being re-worked.
This Sheffield due have a completely different vocal delivery from Invalids, going down the gruff shouty route, and it works just as well.
This is the shortest song on the record and I think this re-working loses something from the original, it sounds slower and a little more messy with maybe more emphasis on vocals, this may be down to production or the loss of a member, its rough, it’s raw and it’s still an excellent song.
Nai Harvest have produced some seriously good songs in their short time as a band, get into these before it’s too late!
Reno Dakota – Yeah, I’m Stalking
Reno Dakota feature a member of personal screamo favourites Maths, so it was always going to be hard for me not to take to this band instantly.
They don’t have a vast back catalogue, with only one EP to their name, the wonderful “Popularity” on Wanderlust Recordings from 2011.
Their style is similar to the other 3 bands on this split, I’d say comfortably sitting somewhere between Invalids and Bonjour. Being a 4 piece they have a more dense sound with vocals sang and not screamed.
Punchy drums backdrop a fast paced front line with some interesting time signatures and sing along lyrics. What’s not to like?
The song starts with a sample from a film, I’m not quite sure which film though (any ideas? ** I am reliably informed its from Freaks & Geeks**) before the instruments come in, once they do, it’s a thoroughly pleasant experience, nice vocals, lyrics and music, this is an excellent song worthy of anyone’s ears, give these boys a chance.
All 4 songs on this spilt offer something a little bit different, fast, noodly, technical and from 4 up and coming bands in the “emo” scene, the one common theme from all bands involved? They are good, simple.
Now get over to Enjoyment Records and buy a copy!
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