Splitsville – Ultrasound – Review


Ultrasound (Big Deal)
by Austin Nash

Every so often a cleansing of the soul is necessary. Like an aged Italian man arguing out a confession with an aged Italian priest after 50 years aggregation. Like the son of the creator of the Loch Ness monster myth coming clean on his deathbed and making assholes out of many people, like they needed the help. Like Fante dictating Brotherhood of the Grape from a smoldering hospital bed in LA, blind and almost dead in the later stages of diabetes on a sweltering and gritty afternoon. I never expect to be opposed by my own baneful secrets, viewing them only as sources of frustration and repression. My own lies? They are my own. I am an Aquarius. Superstitious? I am not a stupid man, nor am I exemplary in matters of the heart, science, or sociality. But I have cried through volumes of my own writing, and it has been kind enough to show me that I do harbor a dark place where I conceal matters from all, even myself, at any cost. I am now at a point where I am prepared to confront myself on a battle field, and I need your strength here. It is following this prelude, rising on this stage, that I confide to you, that I sometimes bullshit music reviews.

I sit hear swelling in my own pride while simultaneously wallowing in the dejection of myself, the soft tones of Splitsville as a backdrop, staring down at a bio from Big Deal Records in which appears a quote from Lollipop Magazine, penned by myself a mere nine months ago, in which I project a false air of approval onto Splitsville’s freshman release, USA. The truth I am prepared to tell is that I actually found it ridiculous. I even tried, to no avail, to sell it twice to Mystery Train in Harvard Square of all places for 2 bucks. What, you might ask, is the reason for this confession? It is because I find their current release, Ultrasound (Big Deal), so goddamned endearing (sorry, God).

Ultrasound, retaining some of its playground playfulness, is, in my opinion, the only time I ever remember an album I love following up a debut I hated. It is almost always the other way around. A band spends some number of years eliminating songs and sounds by vicious trial, conglomerating the winners on a first album, then failing when given nine months to reproduce the effort. Splitsville has incorporated into their sound My Bloody Valentine type dissonance, and a very tasteful analog Lennon/Rundgren appeal. There is a maturity here I would formerly have scoffed at that is to be commended.

I do not apologize for my aforementioned shortcoming, as though temporarily suspended, I may just do it again under duress of PR, politics, or threats of a sound thrashing from the editor. I seek only to do penance in opposition to my own myopic state, and for the sake of my spiritual being. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I hear the holy father is ill in Rome and it may just be my time.