Homelife / Bike Tuff

Split EP

Written by: TL on 17/08/2011 23:43:34

Grrr.. I don't like split records. I don't have much of a valid reason, I just can't help but to think of them as half-assed little releases, that tend to not have enough music on them, even in the event that I do like what I hear from either of the band's involved. Somehow however, I've managed to ignore that when I signed up to review last year's split effort from Homelife and Bike Tuff. This is a bit strange I suppose, since I've never previously heard of either band. They are however quite similar. Both feature fuzzy, ringing, melodic dual-guitar work, both feature rough voiced vocalists and both align with the whole Hot Water Music inspired wave of punk rock that's all the rage in the American underground these days.

Now I say that like I'm quite familiar with Hot Water Music and similar bands such as Small Brown Bike, but that's really not the case. Based on my rather shallow knowledge of them, I just imagine that Homelife and Bike Tuff sound a bit like those band likely sounded in their early days. With that disclaimer, let's move on to mentioning the differences between these two, which are mainly to be found in the rougher vocal work and faster speeds of Bike Tuff, at least judging from the two songs they've contributed to the B-side of this record.

Incidentally, it's their contribution that catches my ear the most, with closing song "Cecil Fielder Didn't Have To Take" making the best impression after a good handful of listens. Their other song on here, "The Annexation Of Puerto Rico" is pretty cool as well, making the listener immediately aware of the change from band to band, by raising the tempo to breakneck pace straight away. In comparison, Homelife's two first songs - "Troubled Mind" and "Radiotherapy" - have been slower and slightly cleaner in sound (a bit like Polar Bear Club maybe) and while they don't make as strong an impression on me as Bike Tuff's songs, they still benefit from being faithful efforts within a genre that it is really really hard to hate. As much can be said about the whole split however, as I must admit that I'd be hard pressed to say that these songs have much longevity to speak of. They're simply cool, enjoyable offerings from bands that sound like they're either just getting off the ground right now, or are content with keeping things at grass roots level. They'll probably charm any eager ear that's lent to them, but for either band to make more lasting impressions, they're probably going to need stronger personalities and/or slightly more remarkable melodies.

Download: Cecil Fielder Didn't Have To Take, Troubled Mind
For The Fans Of: raw, fast, melodic, grass-root level punk rock
Listen: homelife.bandcamp.com / bikingtuff.bandcamp.com

Release Date 15.12.2010
Either/Or Records

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