Prosolar Mechanics – Urban Development Series Vol.4 Split EP

Prosolar Mechanics
Urban Development Series Vol.4 Split EP

So Baltimore Maryland label amBiguous CITY! Records continue their Urban Development split series with volume 4 featuring Maryland’s Landspeedrecord! and New Jersey’s Prosolar Mechanics. The split 7″ or glorified CD EP is a great way to promote a label’s roster list and seems to me an economical way for two bands to get together and cut the costs of manufacturing in half and perhaps share in each other’s listening audience. Makes sense doesn’t it? Guess it really depends on if the two-featured bands actually compliment each other and there’s a potential crossover market.
In the case here, Landspeedrecord! and Prosolar Mechanics are sort of opposites that struggle to find a common ground. Quite different for that fact that Landspeedrecord! are fronted by male vocalist Charley Jamison and Prosolar Mechanics have Amy Jacob offering sultry female vocals. Jamison and company offer the first five of nine songs that appear on the split. Their brand of indie-rock strikes me as rather straightforward and familiar enough to say that I feel almost indifferent about it. The song I’d probably put on a mix tape for a friend, somewhere between an early Superchunk cut and some long forgotten Small 23 song, is “Method Acting.” What starts with driving bass and harmonic guitar punctuation quickly finds itself in a chorus of sublime, supporting vocals while Jamison offers, “I wish you’d spend more time in the present here / Can’t wait out that long / Can’t wait forever here.”
Prosolar Mechanics also keep me half interested in their brand of little league 4AD rock that harks back to a time when Lush’s supreme brand of female-fronted rock, albeit more upbeat, ruled the college radio airwaves. “The Future of Sex” and “Red Down the Middle” are slightly dark and moody enough that you know fans of Prosolar Mechanics are not entirely unfamiliar with the application of black eyeliner and hair dye. Amy Jacob’s voice is pretty and powerful and Prosolar Mechanics’ songs are content enough to rely heavily on her lead. I could see this band being a pleasant listen for fans of the long defunct Madder Rose.
Should you get this split CD EP if you’re a fan of either band? Sure. Will it kill you to hear the other band’s songs that accompany it? No. Will you want to go right out and find out more about the other band? Probably not.