90 Day Men – Split CD

90 Day Men
Split CD

Some things, like chocolate and peanut butter for example, seem destined to go together. But then again, if peanut butter tasted too much like chocolate, no one would eat it. These bands make the perfect combination without stepping on each other’s toes. You’ve got the angular, at times dissonant rock of 90 Day Men contrasting with the retro, garage-rock feel of GoGoGoAirheart, and they combine to make a catchy, fun, and oddly intriguing split.

90 Day Men contribute three songs of angular, slightly groove-inspired dissonant rock. “From One Prima Donna to Another” has an almost spoken lyrical quality over heavy bass and drums, the guitar in the background playing spazzily. It has a slightly Shudder to Think meets Dismemberment Plan feel about it, which is, come to think of it, a pretty snazzy pairing. “Studio Track Four,” which is track two, is a somber and dark little instrumental that is barely noticed, but you can’t miss “Methodist,” a blaring, dissonant track of noise and rock. With the guitars bleeping out, the drums and bass pounding together, and the vocalist alternately shouting out the lyrics and speaking them in monotone, you can’t help but get involved in this one. It has a heavy math-rock feel, though, so don’t expect to bob along easily.

GoGoGoAirheart has one of the oddest names in rock. Wouldn’t one Go be enough? Regardless, they have six tracks here that take up about as much time as the three 90 Day Men songs. This band has a mixture of retro 70’s rock, garage rock, bits of soul and a more modern sound. They remind me of current artists Vue while managing to sound far more unique and modern than that band with the same retro influences. “Hypnotized” is a good example, with M. Vermillion’s voice sounding similar to PIL or similar 70’s rock bands, yet the song still has a catchy, intimate feel. “I Knew” has a more airy, lofty feel, with Vermillion’s voice echoing off at times and screaming at others, sounding oddly intense. “Who Are the Young?” is the strongest track, both with subtle soul groove and blasts of rock. It flows seamlessly into the more poppy and upbeat “International Feel.” “Your Will” finishes things off slower and darkly intense, and here the vocals work best, coming across as something of a mix between The Make Up and 90 Day Men’s darker songs earlier.

This is the second in a series of split CD EPs from Box Factory that will involve a Chicago band and a non-Chicago band (90 Day Men are from Chicago). If they all feature a pairing that is so perfect and yet so unique as this one, it’s bound to be a classic series. For 90 Day Men and GoGoGoAirheart work together perfectly, yet they both remain some unique and unusual bands on the scene. It’s a great mix of songs, and the design (texture, colors) of the artwork is nice.