Welcome to Splitsville (TMC)
by Brian Varney
The first in a proposed series of split EPs (and a cool idea), Splitsville 1 features a couple of bands you wouldn’t expect to see on a CD bearing the TMC logo. Supersuckers and Electric Frankenstein are two of the better and longer-lived bands playing punk & garage-derived rock and roll, though their individual approaches differ slightly.
The first five songs are by Supersuckers, whose music, over the course of the last twelve years, has evolved from the lo-fi, crud-encrusted garage punk of The Songs All Sound the Same (where they don’t) and The Smoke of Hell (where they do) to an arena-ready, devil-horns in the air rock and roll band. They call themselves the greatest rock and roll band in the world, and if their last full-length, The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll, is any indication, they just might be. Their five songs here (four originals and an Electric Frankenstein cover) are stylistically similar to Evil Powers…, evincing a sound and style that Mick & Keith lost years ago. “Devil’s Food” and “Kid’s Got It Comin'” are the good ones from this half.
Stylistically, Electric Frankenstein started out right alongside Supersuckers. And though they’ve slowed the tempos and beefed up the bottom-end a bit over the years and dozens of releases (10+ full-lengths and about a million 7″s in the last seven years), they’ve stuck closer to their beginnings than the Suckers. And I suppose this is why I don’t like Electric Frankenstein nearly as much as I like Supersuckers. It’s not that they really do anything wrong – they’re quite good at what they do, the songs are decent, the playing’s energetic, blah blah blah. But I like the Stones better than I do the Standells or The Pagans, and thus I like Supersuckers better than Electric Frankenstein.
Still, stylistic quibbles aside, there’s plenty of quality rock here, enough that there’s something for just about any rock’n’roller you might run across. And this pairing has all the makings of a great double bill (two bands, reasonably similar but with enough differences to keep things interesting), so here’s hoping they tour.
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