Monday, September 13, 2010

My Favorite Split Releases

Split releases are fun. If you like one of the artists but haven't heard the other, it can be a great way to hear the other artist. For bands, it can be a great way to help out other bands gain exposure to your fans, or a great way to get the other band's fans listening to your music. And if you've heard both bands, then it's just a new release, which is always fun. So here are some of my favorite split releases:

NOFX/Rancid - BYO Split Series Vol 3 (BYO 2002)
For their entry into BYO Records' series of split EPs, NOFX and Rancid decided to cover each other's songs. Rancid do a great job covering NOFX with "Bob" and "Don't Call Me White," while NOFX shine with their reinterpretations of "Olympia WA" and "Corazon de Oro."

Alkaline Trio/Hot Water Music (Jade Tree 2002)
Chicago pop-punkers Alkaline Trio turned in two original songs and a HWM cover ("Rooftops") for the split. "Queen Of Pain" is one of my favorite Alk3 songs. Gainesville's Hot Water Music also released two original songs, but two Alkaline Trio covers for their half ("Bleeder" and "Radio"). Like "Queen Of Pain" for Alk3, "God Deciding" is one of my favorite HWM songs. Both bands released their half later on their respective rarities collections (Remains by Alk3, Til The Wheels Fall Off by HWM) so if you're a fan I'd recommend getting those instead.

Andrew Jackson Jihad/Ghost Mice (Plan-It-X 2007)
I picked this up after hearing good things about both bands and wanting to give both a listen. Aside from the split format, it's just a regular release from both bands with nothing special. But it's good music, so that's fine.

Reel Big Fish/Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer - Duet All Night Long (Reignition 2007)
6 songs, 3 by each band. All 6 songs are covers, but the vocalists from both bands sing on each song (hence the "Duet" of the title). Reel Big Fish are at their best on "Ask," originally by The Smiths, while ZtR&RD play "Don't You Want Me" better than the Human League original.

Matt Skiba/Kevin Seconds (Asian Man 2002)
Matt Skiba (guitarist/vocalist of Alkaline Trio) and Kevin Seconds (of 7Seconds) try out their solo work. Skiba's songs are great, Seconds's aren't as great but still really good. Both play acoustic guitars backed by drums and bass guitar (Skiba recorded his own, not sure about Seconds).

Dan Andriano/Mike Felumlee (Double Zero 2002)
Alkaline Trio's other singer (and bass player) Dan Andriano teamed up like Matt Skiba for a split with former Smoking Popes drummer turned solo artist Mike Felumlee. Felumlee also drummed for Alkaline Trio for a short time before Derek Grant joined the band. I don't like this split as much as the Skiba/Seconds split, but it's still good.

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