For many, the days of music in any format other than an eleven track album they can download from their iTunes after pre-ordering it months in advance are long gone. Though the world is starting to see a change in this, with the recent increase in vinyl sales as those same eleven tracks are split precariously in half and pressed, there are still some novelties people are missing (though perhaps the sound quality of a cassette and a Walkman says we should stay away from those). One of these novelties is that of a split EP – as Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail recently pointed out, these are as popular anymore, so it’s incredibly refreshing to see once put together.
Back in last September we praised Sister City highly for their album, Small Talk (you can check out our review here), and on January 27th they released their newest work – a split, with complimenting band Uncle/Father Oscar. With a pair of tracks from each of the artists, it’s very easy to see why the pair chose to work together, and I for one rather wish they’d figured out a way to record a final fifth song with both bands together. Regardless, this release deserves the same praise we issued the sans-Uncle/Father Oscar one with.
Opening Earthbound & Down from Sister City kicks off the record in a loud way, Modern Baseball-esque influences playing their part between the Brand New strands in the lyricism we’ve previously rated them alongside, before second Skyline drops the pace. A subtle instrumental welcomes the track, before lunging into the passion that we loved so much on Small Talk. This duo of tracks serve as the perfect introduction for those who haven’t yet had the fortune of stumbling across Sister City.
Uncle/Father Oscar’s contribution begins with Old Man Joyce Used To Fix Up Thunderbirds In Here (Years & Years Ago), and despite the distinct differences in the vocals and higher control over volume in the structure, one unknowing might mistake one for the other. Power in the layered vocals drives the track, and masterpiece riffs are the distinguishable link between the two artists. Closing Murder On The Beach strains the vocals, edging on harsh and/or whiny, with the same chaos kicking off in the backing, somehow winding together to sound sublime.
If you’re already a fan of one of this pair, you’re bound to be a fan of the other. Both share the memorable lyrics and riffs you wish you could sing, and there’s no doubt both would make excellent live shows – a co-headline tour, perhaps?