For Fans Of
Topshelf Records is home to a number of progressive, experimental bands that are taking the definition of punk and stretching it until it’s merely a blanket term for a whole lot of weird and wonderful sounds. The four-way split between Tigers Jaw, Code Orange Kids, Self Defense Family and The World Is a Beautiful Place brings together four bands who are experts in the realms of the interesting and experimental, and while at times the split has its moments that might be a bit too out there for some, it also delivers some gems from bands we have come to love.
Tigers Jaw’s ‘Fake Death’ exudes an emo, post-punk sound that seems to be a trend popping up with a lot of bands adored by adolescent Tumblr dwellers, but is executed in a way that isn’t trying too hard; after all Tigers Jaw have become a household name thrown around with the likes of Basement, Turnover and Joyce Manor. It’s catchy and immediately likable, with the use of simple, reverberating guitar riffs, bouncy percussion and low male vocals backed by a sweet female echo. As one of Topshelf’s most successful bands, Tigers Jaw contribute to the split a solid track.
Code Orange Kids’ ‘IV(worms fear god//god fears youth)’ delivers one of the more outlandishly experiential tracks on the split that contributes an eerie alternative rock vibe helped along by the subtle incoherent moans of the female vocalist, instrumental screeches and over-distortions. The song gives off a feeling of hysteria that, while certainly unusual is uncannily reminiscent of Brand New’s experimental phase…a phase that gave us Daisy.
Self Defense Family contribute ‘Holy Trend’ the most ‘punk’ track on the album, with its gritty, aggressive delivery and a melodic repetition. However, this track lets down the split as the most unimpressive on the record, and the strange vocals may remind listeners at times of cheesy pirate tunes.
Last but definitely not least, The World Is A Beautiful Place gives us ‘Beverly Waitt.’ This track delivers what many may have picked up this split for – a true TWISABP tune, complete with an endearing lyrical nostalgia and catchy post – punk rhythm. While fairly young, this band already boast a substantial fan following, and it’s tracks like this one that legitimise their cult following.
While this split may at times stumble and fail to impress, it’s Tigers Jaw and TWIABP that prop it up on their shoulders to rise above the crowd of splits coming out around Record Store Day.
1.Tigers Jaw – Fake Death 02:08
2. Code Orange Kids – VI (Worms Fear God // God Fears Youth) 03:00
3. Self Defense Family – Holy Trend 03:04
4. The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Beverly Wyatt 03:46