12.19.2010

14 Inches

NOFX / The Spits – 7″
The main reason to be interested in this split 7″ is because NOFX vinyl is super collectible. And since this sucker is a limited edition pressing and not available digitally, punk nerd collectors will gobble up copies on that basis alone. The NOFX side includes two tracks, neither of which are particularly memorable. The first, “Hold It Back,” is a re-recording of a song from their debut 1985 EP — a sloppy hardcore track with dueling vocals by Fat Mike and Eric Melvin that begs the question: Why? The other NOFX song, “Teenage Existentialist,” is a clever modern NOFX track, that alongside “Hold It Back,” showcases how much the band has evolved over the years. Did the song not appear on a sub-par release like this one, however, it wouldn’t shine quite so bright. The Spits offer up two tracks as well, both garage-style three-chord punk. The recording quality on their side is crummy, with the hiss from the guitar amp on “Get Our Kicks” mixed nearly as loud as the guitars themselves, but that’s probably how they like it. The cover art for this release features both band names spelled out in cocaine, which may actually be a better use of this record than playing it.
NOFX – “Teenage Existentialist”

The Ataris – “All Souls Day” and “The Graveyard of the Atlantic”
There’s nothing wrong with a band not evolving. The Ramones played one style for their entire career, and plenty of great bands have found their calling and never diverged from it. The problem with The Ataris is that they seem to want to evolve, making major lineup changes and shifting musical styles, like on their last LP, 2007’s “Welcome the Night,” which veered from their brand of ’90s pre-emo pop-punk into indie rock territory. But their latest release finds them harkening back to the sound that made them famous (and when they sold more records), which isn’t a bad thing, but certainly isn’t evolution. The songs are catchy, even if Kris Roe’s lyrics overflow with the same kind of adolescent romanticism they always have. “And the streetlight silhouette,” he sings on “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” “Your neon halo shines so bright, while the radio cried, young hearts be free tonight.” Rather than racing into the future, The Ataris, it seems, have their sights set on racing into the past.
The Ataris – “The Graveyard of the Atlantic”

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