Dialogues – Split 7″

Split 7″

It feels like these two bands used this split 7” as a De Lorean time machine to cut back to the mid 90’s.

Germany’s Kids Explode steps away from a rad song title (“A Romance In Alcohol”) with a jangly guitar set, gritty vocals and a bad-ass bassline that continually throbs above the rest of the mix — and rightfully so. The chorus goes all basement-indie-show-anthem with some yelling in pairs … and then convention goes out the window when the band breaks out an extended ‘hardcore shoegaze’ guitar break that’s 20 percent dreamy and 90 percent completely awesome (because everyone should always give 110 percent, kids). The two guitars meander around for a pleasantly long while in that anti-guitar solo way that a lot of indie bands in the mid 90’s loved, where each set of strings plays a completely separate and distinctive (yet conveniently complimentary) rhythm part so that the extended break has flourishes – but nothing resembling wanky J Mascis guitar squalls. Despite the snarky tone in that last sentence, this guitar break takes an already good song and makes it fantastic. The rhythm picks back up and the vocals flare up again, and everything is dirty and gritty and so be it. Common ground here – Braid? Sunny Day Real Estate? Here’s a good word for it – “Damn!”

Virginia’s Dialogues ups the ante with TWO clever song titles. The first, “Smoking Parliaments Does Not Make You Funky,” adheres itself to a lulling guitar opening a la Mogwai. This doesn’t last long, and things chug up to a blast of borderline punk fury. While the song keeps an upbeat rhythm, the guitars do that crazy thing all the kids used to do where one guitar in one side of the stereo mix plays crazy quick-lick stunt rhythms while the other guitar in the other side of the stereo mix plays more emotive, lazy licks, leaving the tune loose but tight – ragged, but in sync. The vocals are more hollered than sung, but nothing grates ears the wrong way. The song’s more than energetic enough before it breaks back down to a dirge play on the original rhythm, which introduces a new stunt guitar riff for the opening of “Six Packs None the Richer” – HA! There’s a lot of rhythmic back and forth going on in the second track; the constant is that the bass playing rules the universe with an iron fist for the entirety of the song. As with the first track, the guitars are separated in the mix and always very distinctive from each other, and the vocal man keeps kinda-yelling-but-not-really as the band plays on … Fans of Tiger Bear Wolf (for the guitars) and Cursive (for the musical stylings) should drink this Kool Aid, indeed.

Despite what might initially seem like a sarcastic scenester tone throughout the previous paragraphs, both of these bands turn in marvelous sides to this split 7”. Sonically, this stuff’s out of sight; it really doesn’t hurt that the tunes are pressed to heavy 70 gram vinyl and that the whole thing’s held together with a fascinating image courtesy of artist Myles Karr. Between the classy look and strong sound of this 7” and the beautiful artistic vision behind the musical brutality of the latest release from The Assailant, Rome Plow Records has certainly found itself in a nice groove, indeed.